NPR

In Pakistan, Female Police Officers Are Rare. This One Quelled A Militant Attack

"I am, with the grace of almighty Allah, a successful role model for women," Suhai Aziz Talpur says. The senior police official led an operation against militants who attacked the Chinese consulate.
Suhai Aziz Talpur, seen in her office in Karachi's Clifton police station, has emerged as a hero in Pakistan after she led a mission to take down militants who stormed the Chinese consulate in November. Source: Diaa Hadid

When Suhai Aziz Talpur was training to be a police officer, she was ordered to jump off a cliff during an endurance test. She recalls staring seven feet down to the ground. "I said no, I won't jump and break my leg."

So her supervisor pushed her.

Talpur landed unscathed. Later, her supervisor told her, "The fear is here." Talpur taps her head. "So fight it from here."

Talpur, 30, has fought ever since. Now a senior police officer, she has overcome obstacles facing women in conservative Pakistani society and upturned its traditions. She has become a rare Pakistani woman who, if not celebrated exactly for her defiance, is celebrated

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