Organization for Educational Change (OEC)

Inspiration: First woman DSP of Gilgit-Baltistan

Challenging  a society perceived to be male dominant
|Tahira Yasub|
  G-B’s first Deputy Superintendent Police(DSP)


After just two months in the job, Tahira Yasub, Gilgit-Baltistan’s (G-B) first DSP traffic has already made her mark in Gilgit, trying to streamline traffic in a congested city, where violations are the norm.

A graduate in International Relations from Karakoram International University, she adopted the profession fully aware of the challenges associated with it, especially for women and as promoted to the rank of DSP in December 2011.

Immediately after taking charge, she ordered the removal of tainted windows and screens, which the traffic sergeants ensured, much to the annoyance of many influential persons in town. Nearly 100 cars were fined for not complying with the order and over a 100 drivers have received tickets for traffic violations in the city.

“It doesn’t matter if people are unhappy with me because I’m here to uphold the rule of law,” Yasub told The Express Tribune. She has been simultaneously compared to a powerful figure of the underworld by a senior politician and called an angel by a delegation of traders’ union.

Yasub said she launched an awareness-raising campaign for two weeks to educate the public about traffic rules after she assumed charge. A couple of days back, two senior police officials’ personal cars were also fined for violating traffic rules.

“I believe removing tainted glasses is the first step towards ensuring the supremacy of law,” she said. Yasub has also enforced parking on only one side of the road to ease blockages. There are many who applaud her for introducing traffic reforms in the city, “Tahira is doing a great job,” said a businessman.

She was selected twice for UN peacekeeping missions to represent Pakistan.

She trained the local police as well as the UN police for 14 months in Sudan and has recently returned to the country. Yusab has the added distinction of being the first lady inspector in G-B’s history.

The traffic police are plagued by a shortage of manpower and resources, the two factors affecting their performance. At present, Gilgit’s traffic police has only one vehicle, two motorcycles and hardly 50 officials, including gunmen and drivers to cover the whole city.

A sergeant said that it was a stupendous task to enforce rule of law all the time all over town due to lack of motorbikes and patrolling cars. By the time we reach the site, the violators have already left, he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2012.

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