Spare a thought for the policeman
I am an honest policeman disgruntled by the stigma attached to my profession. So, in order to let everyone see what my life is like, I have decided to pen down what a month in my shoes looks like.
Despite performing my duties without taking any bribes, I fear I am still labelled a “chillar”, “thief”, “dishonest” and “corrupt”. There is no doubt that there are many people in my profession who may deserve those labels, but stereotyping everyone as the same isn’t an honest act either.
I grew up like any other ordinary child with few facilities and festivities – but my parents taught me to be honest and serve Pakistan no matter what happens. They taught me to consider the country my home – my own. They taught me the teachings of Islam, Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal, and I remember each and everything taught to me vividly.
I am the policeman who stands, without a bullet proof vest, outside the mosques, shrines, churches and temples missing his prayers so that you can offer yours in ease and without any danger.
While you go to offer Eid namaaz in new clothes, I am the one who misses prayers, stands in same old uniform outside that mosque to protect you. While all my countrymen celebrate Eid with their families, I don’t go home to celebrate Eid with my mother, father, wife or children, as protecting your life is more important to me.
Even when I am sick, I stand under direct sunlight without any air-conditioners, fans or umbrellas outside the hospital so that you can be cured without danger.
I am the one who stands outside your market so that you can shop in security.
I am the one who stands outside that park, restaurant and cafe you went to the other night so that you could enjoy yourselves in peace.
I famish away in the dark on the corner of that road, making sure no suspicious activity takes place – putting my own life in jeopardy whilst protecting yours.
On my birthday I stand outside your birthday party so that you can celebrate it with security.
On the day of my wedding anniversary, I stand outside your marriage hall so that you can enjoy those precious moments.
I am the one unable to see his ailing parents, his pregnant wife, and his school-going children so that I can protect yours.
I am the one who can’t attend the wedding of his sister and daughter so that you can enjoy the wedding celebrations of your sisters and daughters.
On my salary day, I stand outside the bank to guard you so that you can get your salary on time.
I am the one who, without any protection or fear for his life, performs a body search of people so that no terrorist can harm you.
I stay awake at night to ensure that you get a good night’s sleep.
To make my homeland a peaceful place to live, I fight with terrorists, day in and day out, without any sophisticated, automated weapons or even a bullet proof vest.
In the chills of the winter wind – on foggy nights – I stand outside, alert and freezing, so that you can enjoy the warmth of the heaters in your home- safe and sound.
I stand outside your schools, colleges and universities so that you can study and serve this country.
To let you select your representatives, I stand outside polling stations to guard you so that you can cast your vote.
I am the one who spent his youth serving you so that you could enjoy your time growing up – doing all the crazy things young adults do in life.
I am the one who will smile patiently as you shout stereotypes at us.
I am the one you protest against when one of your friends dies, and yet, I am the one who has lost thousands of colleagues and friends protecting those who survived.
My colleagues and I put our lives on the line to protect you, my countrymen. And yet you shout, scream and protest – but my resolve to serve my country is undeterred.
I am but a proud Pakistani policeman, and no matter how ill you think of me, I shall continue to serve my country – in darkness and in light.
Read more by Asad here.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.