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Breaking Stereotypes

“It feels nice and no I am not nervous. Court , jail, thana (police station) are part of the routine life of every police officer”

With that contagious positivity and audacious approach in her personality, she has that with and charisma in her style which is hard to match. Ironically she is harsh, tough, abusive and highly professional at work and that is what makes her a “Police Wali” —  The First female Station House Officer of Sindh,Syeda Ghazala Parveen talks about her life at Clifton Police Station and shares some gob-smacking incidents in her characteristic self-deprecating manner which is exceptionally inspiring

Q1- From an ordinary woman to SHO Ghazala– How would you describe your journey?


Ans. It was a roller coaster ride trust me, initially it was tough for me to convince my husband that I want to join the police, it was nearly 20 years ago. But in time he understood my perspective and that’s when I made an objective of my living which was to prove that women are not only equal to men but they are smarter than men. Tell me who secures better rankings and positions in academics ? Majority is our females so why is there a factor of treating them any weaker (mentally)? It’s everyone’s  fault generally , we as women, do not stand for ourselves and sometimes our society barriers limit the steps of those willing to explore their talent. I believe my journey relates to all the strong women out there who are equally capable than I am.

Q2- How would you define SHO Ghazala as a person?


Ans- I am a combination of spiritual and patriotic person. I am heading 100 men police officers and believe me it never happened that I felt low or demotivated or gloomy ,  people show respect to me,  my seniors are all men and I never felt uncomfortable around them. I have the religious book Sahih Bukhari kept in my office table right in front of me and on my side rack is a clock in which “ALI (a.s) “is engraved. I ask for guidance from the religion. And I believe that we are servants of the people and we should serve our country fairly and at our best of ability so that Pakistan rises as best nation for all .

Q3-  How do you go about Work-life balance?


 Ans- I have four kids and I am just another mainstream workaholic housewife at home, I cook  and manage all the household chores but yes Mother and Wife Ghazala is much different from the SHO Ghazala . I try to give as much time as I can to my family but I think even this police station is my home, these people I work with are my family members too, I make sure I look after my office premises the same way as I do at home, the wall hangings and the indoor plants, this police station is truly different than many.

Q4-  Back then, when you were appointed as the SHO Clifton, after a few days, a bomb blast happened in Clifton and media and few people pointed fingers at you , stereotyping women as weak. How do you see that?


Ans- Yes, that happened with me , media highlighted it a lot speaking that soon after my appointment the incident happened and few politicians spoke ill about me but its I take it all as their insecurities, they Envy the fact that a woman took their place, it’s horrible how they want to make women eel degraded but I don’t care at all, I am a consistent motivated person and if two speak ill of me, there are hundreds who respect me.

Q5-  In your career , did you ever face the fear of death or threats ?

Ans- Mmm..as far as fear of death is concerned, Marnatou sab kohaiek din, darkya (we all have to die one day, what’s the fear). And threats no not really.

Q6-Are there any encounters that you think you can never erase from your memory?

And there are many encounters which are memorable , let me share one. What happened was that we caught one robber and with his help we made a plan to catch his friend who was also engaged in the crimes. We had to make these two meet at a point without letting the other one now that police is there. The encounter was at Korangi crossing , I was in civil and waiting in my car and my subordinates were spread in the area, as these chors (thieves) met each other , they ran away in opposite directions. I was sitting in a car at the end of the road and at that time I was not supposed to get out of the car but suddenly my inside questioned me that “Agar ghazalaabhi tum nahi bahar gayeentou logon kia urbahanay milaingay kehnay kay k aurat SHO banadi“ ( if you won’t go outside and face the situation, people will get a chance to say that a female cannot be a competent SHO). The very moment, I ran behind the chor (thief) without caring he might be carrying arms with him and I caught him and beat him on the road “Wolaatain, woghoosainmaraymunpe k road pe k sab jamahogaye” (I kicked him, punched him on his face on the Korangi road and people started gathering around me). I was sick for another 3 days after that encounter but I am grateful to Allah that I proved what I wanted to.

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