Woman from Chitral’s Kalash tribe blazes a trail

Ehtesham Khan

PESHAWAR: For the past 10 years, one of the biggest accomplishments of 33-year-old police officer Jamina in the restive Kalash valley is that she has not had to draw on her government-issued firearm even once.
In fact, Jamina said she has relied on her education to deal with thorny issues such as domestic conflicts, suicide prevention, religious tolerance, as well as providing security to tourists.

She is among several women police officers in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) who have been proving themselves in what has long been considered a man’s world. Particularly in the tribal areas where women generally observe strict veil and venturing out unaccompanied by male members of their families is frowned upon.

Jamina is not unique in Kalash valley to don the uniform. Rather, she is distinguished from her colleagues by the fact that she holds a masters in political science, the only woman to hold a postgraduate degree in the valley.

“I wanted to join the police force since my childhood,” Jamina said . By joining the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police force in 2009, she not only fulfilled her childhood dream but has become the breadwinner of her family.

“My father says it is a great honour for him that his daughter wears the uniform of the provincial police force,” she said, adding that her father runs a hotel in the valley.
Having five brothers and six sisters, Jamina said that her family backed her to complete her MA in Political Science from the Sheringal University. The education, she said, has been far more valuable in helping her community in uniform than any gun.

“I have not used a pistol for the past 10 years because the area was peaceful,” she said.
“We work alongside men in the snow-capped mountains of Chitral,” the lady constable said, adding that through education, they cannot only serve their area but also enhance the image of women by joining the police force.

“Women should join the police force,” she said.

Wasim Riaz, who until recently was serving as the district police officer (DPO) of Chitral before being transferred to Bannu, said the community policing set up in Chitral has helped them better handle family issues.

Dispute Resolution Committees (DRCs) and Public Liaison Committees are showing good results, he said, adding that greater interest amongst women to join the police force is encouraging as women can play a significant role alongside men in keeping the peace.
Lady commando from Tank

For the first time in the history of the provincial police force, a female officer has been posted as the DSP for the elite force of the police department.

Since January 2019, Rozina Altaf has been serving in the provincial police force as the Elite Force DSP. After Punjab and Sindh, the K-P police will deploy female commandos to tackle the threat of terrorists along with their male counterparts.

 

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