Suhai Aziz Talpur, official of Deputy Police Superintendent, gestures during an interview with Reuters at her office in Karachi, Pakistan.…
Suhai Aziz Talpur, official of Deputy Police Superintendent, gestures during an interview with Reuters at her office in Karachi, Pakistan. (Photo: Reuters)
Pakistani police officer Suhai Aziz Talpur heard about the attack at the Chinese consulate in Karachi while driving to work. She rushed to the scene to find two of her colleagues dead and a trio of rebel trying to blow himself into the building.
Her rapid response and actions during the almost two-hour assault on diplomatic mission in the southern port city have been famous for saving countless lives, turning 30-year-old Talpur into an immediate celebrity ̵
1; and a potential feminist icon – in Pakistan, where female cops are rare.
“When I arrived, where a fire was exchanged, blasts had been heard, smoke appeared”, Talpur, an assistant superintendent, told Reuters.
Immediately she picked up a position to cook on the attackers and began to demand reinforcements.
“We began to enter the consulate and gradually neutralize the situation,” she said.
Since the attack, a picture of Talpur holding his gun, flanked by commands, has gone viral on social media in Pakistan. Friday’s attack, demanded by separatist insurgency from the poor southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan, killed four people, including two policemen whom Talpur said were the real heroes.
“The actual credit goes to Assistant Deputy Inspector Ashraf (Dawood) and the artist Amir (Khan) who kept the attacks engaged and sacrificed their lives,” she said.
When the attack ended, Talpur was among The first policemen entered the mission and began to calm the staff.
“When I arrived there was a Chinese lady and three or four Pakistani men,” she recalled. “The Chinese lady hugged me and I told her,” You are in safe hands, things are under control. “”
Talpur, scheduled to be promoted soon, will be one of only two female officials over the rank of assistant superintendent in the province of Sindh’s police force. But she believes women play a major role in law enforcement.
“A woman can be a better detective than a man, we see everything and remember it better,” she said.
Pakistan has recently been ranked as the fourth worst country for women in a study conducted by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security. But the police and the military have recently run programs to encourage more women in law enforcement and armed forces.
Police leaders are behind Pakistan’s struggle against militaryism, which is often directed against Islamist and rebellious groups. By 2016, 59 cadets were killed when militants stormed a police academy in the southwest of Quetta. The assault was claimed by Islamic state, but Pakistani authorities blamed it on the local militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.
In Karachi, officers have been targeted at the Taliban militants and the point has been killed in a wave of urban violence that swallowed the city for two decades from the 1990s.
Talpur, who comes from a small conservative town in the southern Sindh province, studied to be a reputed accountant when she decided that her chosen profession was too “boring” and went with the police instead.