As several areas in Pakistan have fallen victim to raging mobs, the burden of keeping people safe and keeping the protesters at bay has fallen on the police.
And a burden it is indeed, as at least two policemen lost their lives and over 340 have been injured. The government banned on Wednesday afternoon the TLP — the protesters responsible for the violence — but the police are still on the streets, attempting to disperse the violent mobs.
As they sit home, waiting for the streets to clear, people in Pakistan have taken to Twitter to thank the police who are risking (and sacrificing) their lives to keep people safe.
Islamabad Operations SSP Syed Mustafa Tanweer posted this picture of the brave men from ICT Police, who had been awake and on duty for 48 hours.
Islamabad ASP Amna Baig reminded us what could have been if not for the police.
Several pictures have been shared online of policemen sitting battered and bloody after being attacked by the mobs.
These pictures have touched the hearts and consciences of many Pakistanis, who are calling for the state to support the police.
The treatment of these officers has gathered sympathy all over the country, as people appreciate their effort, dedication and drive for public safety.
It is true that in Pakistan, the police are not accorded the same level of respect as other institutions — often due to their own actions — but when we see policemen risking their lives to keep us safe, we have to thank them. They need more than just a pat on the back for facing a violent mob that has no qualms about beating them to death. They need the support of the people and the state.
Police officials have bravely sacrificed their lives to keep us safe but today we are reminded of an oft repeated quote in Pakistan by author Nadeem Aslam — "Pakistan produces people of extraordinary bravery. But no nation should ever require its citizens to be that brave."