Category Archives: BLOGS

Paid homage to the martyrs of police by the Nation

Today, on the occasion of Police Martyrs’ Day, tributes are being paid to the soldiers of the police force who sacrificed their lives for peace and stability in the country and protection of lives and property of the people.

On this day, special ceremonies were organized at the police headquarters of the four provinces in recognition of the services of the police force in which the sacrifices of the martyrs were remembered.

Police Martyrs’ Day is celebrated every year on August 4 at the national level with the aim of paying homage to the unparalleled sacrifices of the police martyrs and expressing solidarity with the families of these brave grandsons.

Commissioner Rawalpindi, RPO Rawalpindi, Deputy Commissioner Rawalpindi and CPO Rawalpindi also visited the house of Shaheed Inspector Mian Muhammad Imran Abbas.

On the occasion of this day, the ISPR Public Relations Department of the Pakistan Army also paid homage to the martyrs of police.

Pakistan has been plagued by internal and external problems, crimes, and conspiracies since its inception on August 14, 1947, which the Pakistan Army, as well as law enforcement agencies, are still working to overcome.

Police Martyrs’ Day is being observed across Pakistan today to pay tribute to the sacrifices of soldiers, personnel, and officers who served in the police who gave an everlasting story of sacrifices for the homeland in which with each passing day A new chapter is beginning…

One year ago today, according to the statistics of 2019, the crime rate in Pakistan is very high and the police force has been reduced to control it, as evidenced by the daily news published in the newspapers.

Different types of crime include murder, rape, robbery, and theft. In 2019, 8153 people were killed across Pakistan. 10,438 attempted murders, 20,256 kidnappings for ransom, and 1,382 robberies.
Last year, 18,239 incidents involved snatching, street crimes, and robberies, 7,793 crimes involved cattle theft, and 55,836 incidents involved the theft of cash, jewelry, and other items.

A total of 786,339 crimes were reported in the police stations while the number of crimes could not be ascertained. Let’s also see how many police stations we have to control millions of crimes.
According to 2018 statistics, there are more than 700 police stations in Punjab province out of which 66 in Rawalpindi division, 73 in Bahawalpur, 63 in Dera Ghazi Khan, 108 in Multan, 139 in Lahore, 115 in Gujranwala, 75 in Faisalabad, and 75 in Sargodha. 75 There are 66 police stations.

According to statistics, there are about 600 police stations in Sindh province out of which 151 are in the Sukkur division, 96 in Larkana, 152 in Hyderabad, 51 in Mirpur Khas, and 116 in Karachi.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has about 300 police stations, of which 53 are in Peshawar Division, 27 in Mardan, 25 in Kohat, 19 in Dera Ismail Khan, 19 in Bannu, 19 in Hazara, and 55 in Malakand.
There are about 150 police stations in Balochistan out of which 35 are in Quetta, 15 in Zhob, 15 in Sibi, 29 in Naseerabad, 22 in Kalat, and 14 in Makran. There are 22 police stations in Islamabad.
It should be noted that these figures are only for police stations, ie police stations, while police officers stationed at police posts and other places are in additio

The police are considered the most important of the law enforcement agencies because when a citizen has a problem related to crime, he first looks to the police for a solution.
Police officers working in every city of the country, including Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, and Islamabad, work against criminals to protect the lives and property of citizens and arrest and bring them to justice.
Such officials repeatedly arrest criminals and detain them in police stations, who are later released on bail. When they are released, the lives of most police officers are in danger.
Released criminals sometimes attack the police, but armed police officers know how to deal with such attacks. However, there is no record of how many policemen were killed by criminals.

The most dangerous terrorist attack is considered a suicide attack. A terrorist commits suicide by planting a bomb on his body and targeting a police officer or any other important person.
In the 18 years since 2002, there have been at least 450 suicide attacks on police officers, with at least 3,700 martyred.

Over the past 14 years, more than 7,000 Pakistanis have been martyred in suicide attacks, while more than 14,270 have been injured.
750 in Sindh, 1,457 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 450 in Balochistan, and 370 in Punjab have been martyred in the last 18 years, with figures from FATA, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Kashmir in addition.

It should be noted that the police personnel has no personal enmity with the criminals but they come forward only for the protection of the people and sacrifice their lives while performing their duties.
Today, Police Martyrs’ Day is being observed in every province of Pakistan, keeping in mind that whether the martyrs belong to the police or to the Pakistan Army, the value of every human life is equal in the sight of God Almighty.
According to Islam, the savior of a human being is the one who saves the lives of all humanity and the police personnel is engaged in fulfilling the sacred duty of saving many human lives on a daily basis.
Now is the time to show solidarity with the martyrs because they are the ones who are always there to protect the lives and property of the people.

Youth no longer reads Urdu books, lament book publishers

The younger generation prefers reading English literature and takes more interest in internationally bestselling books. Books written in Urdu are read now mostly by middle-aged people and the older generations, said Adeel Haq, a publisher taking part in the National Book Festival.

Organised by the National Book Foundation (NBF), the four-day festival concluded on Monday at the Pak-China Friendship Centre.

“I have participated in expos in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad every year and during the last decade, I have observed that young people, especially students, have stopped reading books in Urdu. They know more about the books published in different countries and they ask for them as well,” he said.

Mr Haq added that he used to deal mostly in Urdu books in the past, but now knows more about books in English due to the changing demand.

He said new writers who write in Urdu now do not find fame as the older generations want to read the books written by Qudrat Ullah Shahab, Bano Qudsia, Asfaq Ahmed and other established writers.

“Most of the over 130 stalls at the festival have English books. Parents now want short stories in English for their children,” Mr Haq said.

He suggested that the government should not charge fee from stalls at book festivals because expos are held to promote book reading culture, where books are sold at discounted rates.

Another publisher, Subah Sadiq, who had come from Jhelum, said the impression that book reading is declining due to the internet is not true.

“Those who claim they do not find time to read due to the internet did not have the habit of reading before the internet as well. We have now started using social media for the promotion of books,” he said.

He added that more books are sold at expos in Lahore and Karachi, perhaps because Islamabad is a smaller city.


Pakistan’s flawed forensic investigation in rape cases is the weak link in the justice system

Observing the low rates of reported rapes in Pakistan, a recent Dawneditorial rightly points towards the gross “inadequacies of investigators and prosecutors…” as a key contributor to this issue.

The role of medical examiners holds immense importance in investigations for rape, since their report can often make or break the case.

Despite this, the investigational techniques utilised by our medicolegal system tend to rely upon crude, insensitive, and often brutal methods.

Newsreels of crime scenes being mobbed by curious onlookers, rescue volunteers, and reporters, the place being hosed down and precious evidence washed away or trampled on, is nothing new to us.

Our methods are unprofessional, to say the least, in sharp contrast to the meticulous, and methodical approaches being adopted by investigators that impress us on TV shows like CSI Miami.

Advancements in forensic investigations have come a long way but have yet to reach our shores.

Lack of career opportunities

The domain of the medical examiner unfortunately does not present a very rosy picture either. Medical forensic is an orphan specialisation in this country with the brightest minds choosing more lucrative fields.

The forensic departments in medical colleges exist due to requirements laid down by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council, the governing body for undergraduate medical education in Pakistan.

While the subject is taught in all medical colleges as a compulsory course, it is treated by students as no more than a necessary irritant to be endured, rather than a discipline to be learnt and understood, since very few people want to make a career out of it.

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This is not surprising since the only employment that forensic specialists get in Pakistan are in understaffed, under budgeted police surgeon offices in casualty departments of government hospitals.

The medicolegal officers are the underpaid, unrespected and entirely unacknowledged foot soldiers of our medicolegal system that is known more for its failings rather than its accomplishments.

The necessary close linkage with the law enforcement system also exposes this cadre to corruption that is rife in our police force.

Hence we have very few people in this field, out of whom many are there due to a lack of alternatives rather than out of choice.

This dismal state of affairs translates into limited progress in the field, the result of which is the suffering endured by the hapless victims seeking justice.

Systemic backwardness

A prime example of this was highlighted by a recent Dawn articlelamenting the use of the archaic and useless two-finger test used to establish ‘consent’ in a sexual assault case.

This legal requirement for a two-finger test to determine the veracity of the complaint of a rape victim resides within the dusty archives of law books, as a relic of the medieval precedence on which British law of that time was often structured, and is not in practice in any modern legal system across the world.

Same topicIt’s time Pakistan banned the two-finger test for decoding consent in rape trials

Yet, the legal and judicial system of this country seeks the results of this humiliating and unnecessary examination, to be conducted on a victim who summons enough courage to seek justice from a system not renowned for its sensitivity.

Not only is this test regarded as scientifically invalid, it does nothing but to doubly curse the woman.

After getting brutally violated once by the perpetrator of the crime, her recourse for justice lies in submitting to what amounts to nothing less than the most dehumanising and humiliating invasion of a woman’s privacy.

And this is done at the hands of a medical practitioner, a messiah whose hands are supposed to heal.

Resource constraints

The Dawn editorial rightly applauds the Peshawar High Court’s decision to make it mandatory to include DNA evidence in rape investigations.

Whereas DNA forensic has been an established field across the world for years, enabling accurate linking of cells found at the site of the crime to the person they belong to, this technology has been introduced in Pakistan primarily to deal with cases of terrorism and has been very useful in identifying both victims and perpetrators.

Public sector hospitals can access these specialised labs to investigate rape investigations. However, the presence of a facility does not mean it will be used optimally.

Even though specimen collection using rape kits is no rocket science, and any trained person can do so, the lack of availability of trained staff often results in the loss of the window of opportunity to collect appropriate samples.

Due to the social taboo associated with rape and the psychological trauma, the victims may understandably present themselves to the investigation officer late.

Once this narrow window of opportunity is lost, there will be no second chance at collecting appropriate DNA samples.

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Even if the samples are collected and preserved within the designated time frame, lack of appropriate transportation to the labs presents another challenge.

The samples sitting on the dashboard of a van on a hot summer afternoon, while the driver stops for lunch and namaz on the way from Karachi to Hyderabad, where the DNA lab is located for the province of Sindh, is not the recommended way to handle these delicate specimens.

Another challenge is the costs involved in the examination. While the service lies within the public sector domain, there is a cost attached to every procedure.

The lack of budgetary allocations precludes free availability of this investigation.

While the test ought to be provided for free to the victims, the cost which typically amounts to Rs20,000 is generally passed on to the victims’ families.

This may serve as a further deterrent for low income families who may still want to seek justice but find themselves in a bind because of their economic situation.

With so little faith in the legal system, many may understandably choose to forgo this added expense.

Failing education system

Perhaps even worse than ignorance and poor training is apathy of those who matter: the medical practitioners.

While our medical system may train our students in the modern methods of medical care, there is hardly any attempt to inculcate within them the values of empathy, compassion and caring, all part of the largely ignored multidimensional field of bioethics.

Our students are not trained in communication skills, which form an essential part of a physicians’ work, particularly for a medicolegal officer who deals with highly sensitive cases including rape and attempted suicide, to mention a few.

RelatedPakistani medical codes weren’t violated in sending friend request to Sharmeen’s sister – and that’s a problem

Most of our medical colleges either entirely ignore teaching bioethics, and even when it is included in the curriculum, according to a study conducted by one of the authors, the students believed that there was a disconnect between what was being taught and what they experienced in real life.

Another study has also previously indicated that a vast majority of the medical students expressed concern that instead of strengthening their moral values during medical schooling, the realities of the work environment may actually lead to erosion of their preexisting values.

In such a situation, easy availability and accessibility of advanced investigational techniques may not be enough.

Dealing with rape victims requires compassionate practitioners, equipped not only with advanced forensic knowledge and skills, and access to technology, but also armed with appropriate bioethics training with a focus on enhancing professionalism and communication skills.

A humane and ethical professional will make the best use of whatever technology is available and will provide the victim with the best chance at justice.

In pictures: moon blots sun out of the sky in historic eclipse

Narrow corridor in US experiences full eclipse while rest of N. and S. America treated to partial eclipse.


Millions of Americans gazed in wonder through telescopes, cameras and disposable protective glasses Monday as the moon blotted out the sun in the first full-blown solar eclipse to sweep the United States from coast to coast in nearly a century.

It promised to be the most observed and photographed eclipse in history, with many Americans staking out prime viewing spots and settling onto blankets and lawn chairs to watch, especially along the path of totality the line of deep shadow created when the sun is completely obscured except for the delicate ring of light known as the corona.

The shadow, a corridor just 96 to 113 kilometres wide, came ashore in Oregon and then began travelling diagonally across the heartland to South Carolina, with darkness from the totality lasting only around two to three minutes in any one spot.

The rest of North America was treated to a partial eclipse, as were Central American and the top of South America.

The next total solar eclipse in the US will be in 2024. The next coast-to-coast one will not be until 2045.

The total solar eclipse is viewed from Charleston, South Carolina, on August 21, 2017. — AFP
The total solar eclipse is viewed from Charleston, South Carolina, on August 21, 2017. — AFP
The moon almost eclipses the sun during a near total solar eclipse as seen from Salem, Oregon. ─ AP
The moon almost eclipses the sun during a near total solar eclipse as seen from Salem, Oregon. ─ AP
The sun's corona is visible as the moon passes in front of the sun during a total solar eclipse at Big Summit Prairie ranch in Oregon's Ochoco National Forest near the city of Mitchell, USA.—AFP
The sun’s corona is visible as the moon passes in front of the sun during a total solar eclipse at Big Summit Prairie ranch in Oregon’s Ochoco National Forest near the city of Mitchell, USA.—AFP
This NASA handout photo shows the Diamond Ring effect seen as the moon makes its final move over the sun during the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 above Madras, Oregon. ─ AFP
This NASA handout photo shows the Diamond Ring effect seen as the moon makes its final move over the sun during the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 above Madras, Oregon. ─ AFP
A view of the solar eclipse at the Solar Temples at Big Summit Prairie ranch in Oregon's Ochoco National Forest.—AFP
A view of the solar eclipse at the Solar Temples at Big Summit Prairie ranch in Oregon’s Ochoco National Forest.—AFP
A Mexican woman looks through a telescope at the beginning of the solar eclipse, at the esplanade of the Museum of Natural History in Mexico City, Mexico.—AFP
A Mexican woman looks through a telescope at the beginning of the solar eclipse, at the esplanade of the Museum of Natural History in Mexico City, Mexico.—AFP
People make pinhole eclipse viewers in the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum on the National Mall before an eclipse August 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. — AFP
People make pinhole eclipse viewers in the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum on the National Mall before an eclipse August 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. — AFP
People pose with special eclipse glasses outside the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum on the National Mall before an eclipse August 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. — AFP
People pose with special eclipse glasses outside the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum on the National Mall before an eclipse August 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. — AFP
People watch the start of the solar eclipse at Big Summit Prairie ranch in Oregon's Ochoco National Forest.—AFP
People watch the start of the solar eclipse at Big Summit Prairie ranch in Oregon’s Ochoco National Forest.—AFP
Annie Gray Penuel and Lauren Peck, both of Dallas, wear their makeshift eclipse glasses at Nashville's eclipse viewing party ahead of the solar eclipse at First Tennessee Park.— AP
Annie Gray Penuel and Lauren Peck, both of Dallas, wear their makeshift eclipse glasses at Nashville’s eclipse viewing party ahead of the solar eclipse at First Tennessee Park.— AP
A crowd gathers in front of the Hollywood sign at the Griffith Observatory to watch the solar eclipse in Los Angeles. — AP
A crowd gathers in front of the Hollywood sign at the Griffith Observatory to watch the solar eclipse in Los Angeles. — AP
Dan Blanchette and his son, Sam, 6, watch the final phases of a total solar eclipse in Salem, Oregon, USA.—AP
Dan Blanchette and his son, Sam, 6, watch the final phases of a total solar eclipse in Salem, Oregon, USA.—AP

In the heart of Rawalpindi, Indians and Pakistanis remember their pre-Partition homes

India and Pakistan again celebrate the end of the British Raj and the conception of independent homelands. With a difference of a mere 24 hours, millions in both the countries rejoice with fervour, pride, and nationalism.

However, to some, August, after 70 years, is a shadow of the nightmare that they lived through at the time of the great divide and reminds them of the dear ones they lost on the way to their new abodes, places they still can’t relate to as their homes.

On the corner of Sonehri Masjid, Mohallah Shah Chan Charagh, sits 86-year-old glasses repairman, Hameed Ali Shah, from Firozpur, India. He recalls Partition as it happened yesterday.

“I was born in Firozpur Cantonment. We were a middling family with a small house and were living well,” he told me, while showing old family photographs from his drawer.

“The striking brick streets, jamun tree in front of my house and the scent of tamarind in our veranda – I still can recall the flavour and how fulfilling it was,” he said with a smile.

Hameed Ali Shah looking at old family pictures. – All photos provided by the author
Hameed Ali Shah looking at old family pictures. – All photos provided by the author

Partition came unanticipated for the Muslims of Firozpur. “One night, our Hindu neighbours told us to leave the house to save ourselves from the mob. We left everything behind and embarked on the journey to Pakistan, a place we had heard of only in slogans.”

When asked about the journey, Ali Shah looked up with empty eyes and replied, “They killed my sister in front of my eyes. Our family had nine members; only two survived.”

However, it wasn’t just Hindus and Sikhs who committed atrocities and looting. Ali Shah saw carnage and prowlers on the way after crossing Wagah and even as far as Rawalpindi.

“The place we finally settled was Bhabra Bazaar and this is where I sit today. It was an affluent Hindu neighbourhood but the residents were forcibly moved to camps and their havelis were looted and burnt. It was heartrending, particularly seeing the elderly who spent generations at this very place, departing their homes and the shops they had built with their fathers and grandchildren.”

Puttar, purkhon ki nishanian aur qabrain chornay se behtar hai banda mar jae [Son, it is better to die than to leave the reminders and graves of your forefathers behind],” Ali Shah said with tearful eyes.

Less than a kilometre from Ali Shah’s business stands the desolate Soojhan Singh Haveli, lamenting the times when its residents were elites of the region. Built by Rai Bahadur Soojhan Singh, the magnificent structure was once the centre of politics and a monument to opulence of those who built it.

Partition wreaked havoc on its once-beautiful architecture that is now nothing but a decaying ruin. Renowned for its grandeur, darbar mehal(king’s court), and gold carvings, it was looted and burnt to erase the identity of its Sikh owners, whose links to Rawalpindi have been buried like they never existed.

Gulzar Ahmad sitting at his small shop in Saidpuri Mohallah.
Gulzar Ahmad sitting at his small shop in Saidpuri Mohallah.

The story of Gulzar Ahmad from Ambala is no different from Ali Shah’s. Now 84, he runs a shop in Saidpuri, Rawalpindi. Luckily, his family migrated early and were spared the agony of the loss of life. He has a faint memory of his old neighbourhood and friends

Ahmad and his brothers settled in Rawalpindi and started a new life; however, their parents could never recover from the tragedy of leaving their lives behind.

He said they would always be thinking of their house, the neighbourhood, the city, and their friends. “We all thought the bedlam would last a month or two and we would return to our city; however, every passing year made them bleak and ill, and they passed away after 10 years of Partition,” Ahmad told me.

For a millennium, Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims lived side by side in Punjab. But The great divide made brothers thirst for each other’s blood.

Not many know that Rawalpindi was one of the starting points of the massacres. The first train that reached Amritsar with corpses from what became Pakistan was from Rawalpindi and its surroundings.

In his book Rape of Rawalpindi, notable scholar Prabodh Chandra gave a detailed account of the carnage in the villages around Rawalpindi, which later took over the urban areas and spread across NWFP and Indian Punjab, killing thousands of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs.

Gurpreet Singh Anand, a resident of Delhi, has no memory of Partition but he proudly calls himself Pindi waal (hailing from Rawalpindi). His family had a thriving clothing business in Rawalpindi and Murree when suddenly, one day, they found themselves on the wrong side of the border and their business was looted and their shops burnt.

His family stayed in their home near Banni, Rawalpindi following Partition, believing the mayhem would end shortly. But they soon had to flee to avoid coming under attack. Moving from one city to another, they finally settled down in Delhi, where in claims they got only a fraction of what they had left behind.

A wedding picture of Gurpreet's father in his house in Rawalpindi.
A wedding picture of Gurpreet’s father in his house in Rawalpindi.

I interacted with Anand through social media in a heritage group. Now an established businessman, he has visited Rawalpindi twice, and the urge to see his ancestral home again is never sated.

To him, visiting his father’s house in Saidpuri was an emotional ride. The house was almost in the same condition as his family had left it in 1947.

“I kissed the door’s frame and the stairs when I entered the house. It was quite a poignant experience holding the banister leading to the room that was once my grandfather’s,” he recalled, emotionally.

“I am visiting Rawalpindi again soon with an old friend Kunwarjit Singh who wishes to see his native place before he dies,” he informed me in his last conversation.

They later visited the city and Singh, at 85, finally got to see his birthplace for the first time since Partition. He reminisced old times and revived his Pindi waal spirit.

Gurpreet's father's diary.
Gurpreet’s father’s diary.

Unfortunately, while I was writing this piece, I learned that Singh passed away after returning to India. Perhaps the thirst that made him restless across the border for decades was finally quenched after visiting his forefathers’ home and where he hailed from – the place where he took his first steps and where he uttered his first words.

It is this yearning that is presented as dina in every writing of famous poet and scriptwriter Sampooran Singh Kalra, popularly known as Gulzar. In every interview, he talks about his home in Dina, Jhelum, and the memories he had of his house. One of his verses goes like this:

Chand Pukhraj ka, raat pashemene ki
Zikr Jhelum ka, baat ho Dinay ki

Or the longing for Lahore that is evident in the literary works of Bapsi Sidhwa.

The original land papers (registry) of the Singh family house in Rawalpindi.
The original land papers (registry) of the Singh family house in Rawalpindi.

70 years on, both India and Pakistan, despite their daggers drawn, have people who continue to cling to their past, a whole generation carrying in their hearts the love of their birthplaces. People who were once told “You’re no longer wanted; go away before it’s too late.”

They wish for a thaw in the icy relations between the two countries so they could see their ancestral homes, pay respects at their forefathers’ graves and finally feel the joy their parents had felt in their once-idyllic neighbourhoods.

Today, regrettably, it seems like an ever-distant dream.

The letterheads of the Rawalpindi business belonging to Gurpreet's family.
The letterheads of the Rawalpindi business belonging to Gurpreet’s family.