The tribal district of Kurram in Peshawar made headlines for appointing the first Christian woman as the Station House Officer (SHO) at the Parachinar Police Station. Samreen Amir is an established individual who has proved to be an integral police officer. With countless successful raids and investigations, she has strived to create an environment that supports voiceless and vulnerable women. Her promotion is an accolade that is truly deserved, and will undoubtedly uplift not only women, but the Christian community as well.
There has been a nation-wide attack on Pakistani Christians, with many living in the fear of complete alienation by the state, as well as the apathetic attitude by the authorities at large. In this polarised environment, making Samreen Amir the SHO sets standards for what our state organisations should look like, and the ideals they should strive to uphold. Not only will it improve the quality of investigations carried out, but it will bring forward a new perspective through which policing can be made more proficient and fair. Particularly when it comes to the Christian community, Samreen can prevent unwarranted attacks from materialising into larger events that work towards the detriment of the Christian community.
Beyond this even, having a woman SHO transforms police stations into safe spaces that women view to be accessible and empathetic to their complaints. There has been significant research to back up the claim that having a female-friendly policing environment can encourage more women to speak up about the various injustices that have been done to them–especially in regards to inheritance issues, domestic violence, sexual crimes and other forms of harassment. Kurram district has shown exceptional initiative when it comes to incorporating women in the police force and back in 2020, it launched its Women Reporting Center which has been dedicated towards addressing women’s problems. This should serve as a blueprint for what other cities and districts should be doing, especially metropolitans where crime against women are far too frequent.