The police force has faced the brunt of militant attacks. The service has lost some of its most capable and senior officers to the terrorist activities since 2011. From Abid Ali to Malik Saad, from Sifwat Ghayoor to Sajid Khan, the list of sacrifices by Pakistani police is a long one. Yet, their sacrifices have gone unrecognised so far. Those who fall in the line of duty are not bestowed upon any reward. The compensation that the families of the victims get is meagre.

In another attack on Monday, Sajid Khan Mohmand, DPO Chaman, along with his driver embraced martyrdom in a terrorist attack. The majority of those who got injured were also police personnel. Reports are that it was a suicide attack.

While the army has been a harder target to hit, police contingents are easier targets, and also ensure civilian casualty. The most logical policy then, is to ensure the police is so well trained and well equipped that it can anticipate and deter these attacks.

However, with no real history of beneficial reform in the police services, strengthening the police will be a long while away. Police is considered the main force in ensuring the internal security of a country. Despite the fact that Pakistan is a country worst hit by terrorism, there is so clean move to by the government to invest in making police strong. Pakistani police is understaffed, lacks modern-day weaponry and technology to combat terrorism, underpaid. The fact that it is also often corrupt has worsened the situation. Criticising the performance of police and ridiculing them is a norm in Pakistan. Since the public does not fully trust the police, funds and support or the police are not a public demand. Additionally, federal and provincial governments rarely release funds to meet the genuine demands of the police department. All these problems combined together are enough to keep the morale of any department on a constant low. Yet, against all odds Pakistani police is carrying out the duty of maintaining law and order, and most of these officers do work in earnest to maintain safety.

It is about time we to appreciate the efforts and sacrifices of our police force. Serious reforms are needed, but the force won’t reform itself unless these officers see that their work is absolutely essential to counter terrorism and make Pakistan safe, and that they will be adequately compensated by the state for their services. Better discipline and funds will incentivise them. Concerned Federal and Provincial departments need to sit together to address the issues that police across the country are facing and policing is at the centre of this. Unless the police is trusted by people, intelligence gathering will be an issue – we need public-police cooperation at this time.