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Old Saturday, February 20, 2010
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Default A woman of substance

For all those females who want to join PSP

A woman of substance

Thursday, February 18, 2010
By Saadia Khalid

Hats off to the first-ever Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) lady officer, who has faced all social odds and proved herself to be a woman of substance in this male-dominated society.

A bright young lady, Maria Mahmood, is certainly a source of inspiration for hundreds of women, who opted for a profession like police, which is considered as a specifically male career in our country.

Though young in age, the lady has all the dignity that an assistant superintendent of police (ASP) must have in the personality domain. Her body language speaks volumes about her dedication towards her job and determination to do something for the welfare of the police institution.

Maria is the first woman officer who has been appointed directly as an ASP after passing the CSS examination. Earlier, the female candidates of the competitive examination did not have the privilege to choose the police department to serve as CSP officers.

“Being the first-ever PSP lady officer is less of a privilege and more of a responsibility. I have to set a positive example, as my juniors look up to me for guidance. I try to support them to make them stay in this profession,” said Maria.

Maria was the only female trainer during the Common Training Programme (CTP), Lahore, and also the only one on the Special Training Programme (STP), but her determination never let her get disheartened or discouraged. “At times, it seems as if it has now become an identity issue, as there have always been men all around me,” she said.

Currently serving in the Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP), the brave woman performs as hard a duty as her male counterparts. She stands at some intersections to regulate traffic and ensures its smooth flow in case of a protest. “Initially, it appeared really odd to me when people used to stare with astonishment as if a woman could not control or regulate traffic, but now I am witnessing a gradual change in people’s attitude. It is all about the mindset and our people cannot imagine a woman doing something else than the usual house chores,” commented Maria.

Talking specifically about women’s recruitment in the police department, she said that she is looking forward to a positive change with the induction of more educated women. “I am sure there will be a 180-degree change in the performance and perception of the police department if more women are given opportunities to serve here, as they rarely get into corruption and seldom fall prey to any other temptations,” she claimed.

She said that the women’s recruitment in police could be very helpful in changing the department’s bad image into a more positive one. “More and more women should be inducted at the decision-making level, so they could address the issues of women working in police and also at women’s police stations,” she said adding that the women working at lower levels of the police department are having plethora of problems that need to be resolved in order to boost up their morale and give them more encouragement to prevail upon them to join the force.

However, Maria seemed hopeful for the future of the police department, especially with the induction of more and more women. “There was a time when even the teaching profession was considered bad but soon a time will come when people will accept women in police,” she said.

She pointed out various changes taking place in the environment of police stations. “Gone are the days when the high-ups of police used to abuse their juniors. Now the situation has changed, as the recruitment of educated people has brought a positive change. The current IGP has an agenda to promote women police. There are several police officials, who supported me throughout, especially SP Sajid Kiani, whom I consider my mentor,” she said.

Moreover, Maria would soon be attending a commando training course for police officers in Lahore.

Having a master’s degree in English Language and Literature, and belonging to a religious family, Maria was asked to opt for some other professions but through sheer willpower she convinced her family to let her offer her services to the police department. “I am 100 per cent satisfied with my decision and would ask other girls to join this profession in order to end the stigma attached to it,” she added.

“I can say it categorically that our religion has not forbidden women to utilise their expertise for the country’s welfare. The reason for believing the so-called scholars is that we do not study the religion ourselves. One should not forget the limitations that Islam has set for us but should contribute towards the progress of the country in a positive manner,” she said.

According to Maria, girls should resist social pressures with motivation and determination, and prove themselves to be better persons than others through their hard work.
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The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to saba sattar For This Useful Post:
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Old Thursday, August 23, 2012
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Thank you so much for this useful post. I just have few more questions. Women are mostly recruited in specific areas in PSP does it hinders their future promotional chances. In KPK in some areas in women jails no FIR has been registered since 2005. Is physical training difficult. Can you guide me about it's duration and type of exercises. Plz I am very confused about this all
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