Yesterday, for the first time, All Things Pakistan (ATP) named a “Pakistan Person of the Year.”
We named the Pakistan Policeman as the 2009 Pakistan Person of the Year. It is an expression of a debt of gratitude that is too often left unacknowledged.
Today, we write with a request to our readers: next time you see a Pakistani policeman doing his duty, can you please articulate this gratitude in a simple “Thank You.”
I believe reader Faraz Shams was the first one to suggest this, and I think it is a brilliant idea. This is something that will take very little from each of us, but may mean much more to these men at the front-line, who are used to hearing barbs rather than gratitude from those whose lives they are to defend – literally, with their lives.
Imagine the following: Imagine that you are a policeman guarding a building somewhere in Pakistan. A man approaches and you suspect this man has a suicide vest and is ready to blow himself up. You have two options: One, you can let him pass and he might bring untold murder and mayhem on innocent Pakistanis. Two, you could confront him, and the likelihood is that if he is on a suicide mission he will just blow himself up right there, and with him take you to your death!
What would you do?
Time after time, Pakistani policemen are making a choice that many of may find difficult. Putting their life, quite literally, on the line for your safety, and mine.
The least they deserve, is an expression of gratitude to replace the scorn and sarcasm we usually reserve for them.
We ask you, therefore, to do the following:
- Next time you see a Pakistani policeman doing his duty, just say a simple Thank You. Maybe shake his hands and say “Aap ka bohat shukriya, aap nay humari hifazat ki!” My guess is that no one has ever said this to him. You will make him feel proud and recognized. I suspect it will also make you feel good about yourself.
- Pass on this request to your friends and family and ask them to do the same. Give them a call, send them an SMS, digg, RT on Twitter, share on Facebook… just get the word out. Over the next few days, lets put a smile on the face of at least a few policemen. It is amazing, how much a small thing like this can mean, and how quickly it can spread. (P.S., if you know folks in the Pakistani media, please forward the request to them too: our media also needs to show more respect and gratitude to the Pakistani police).
It is, indeed, the least we can do. But let us, at least, do the least!