Stella, her name literally meaning ‘star’, becomes the first Pakistani woman to receive QPM (Quaid-i-Azam Police Medal), an award of gallantry. She was presented with this prestigious award on December 8th in a closed ceremony at Governer House. Coincidentally, the ceremony coincided with the Christmas celebrations, doubling up the sweet on this Christmas for her.
A woman, a police officer and belonging to the minority – how revolutionary is it already? But there is more – and it is the real reason what makes Stella such a strong, unconventional, unorthodox icon. She received this medal in recognition of her efforts and services to Pakistan’s police department, but majorly due to the fact that she and two other policewomen stopped two suicide bombers from entering the shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi in Karachi. She received injuries during her heroic efforts.
Recalling the incident, Stella says she was deputed at Bot Basin Police Station in October 2010. Very few know this, but this hero police constable saved the lives of many, sustaining critical injuries herself.
“ I am still posted here [at the shrine] for security duty. I tried to forget those moments but now feel proud that I was there to prove myself … my courage … my honesty and my decision to join the police force.” – she shared talking to DAWN News.
“I had almost lost my senses, but I controlled my nerves. I ran into the shrine’s premises to report the situation to my seniors when another suicide bomber, who had managed to sneak in, exploded himself on the stairs leading to the premises of the mausoleum. I don’t remember what happened after that second explosion.”
The under-celebrated icon is an unconventional superwoman whose bravery has rewritten the contribution of women to the department. Sharing her feelings on the prestigious award, Stella says it has further strengthened her commitment and determination.
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