The morning hours are busy at Baghlan's Police Headquarters. Office clerks walk hurriedly with documents in hand; men clean their weapons and maintain their equipment while other Afghan National Police (ANP) officers prepare for their daily security patrols.
This morning is a special one though, as thirty-two families have gathered in the courtyard. All of them have one thing in common; they have lost a beloved relative, martyred while on duty fighting against the enemies of Afghanistan, enforcing law and order.
Today these families receive the honour and the support by Baghlan's Police and the Ministry of Interior (MOI) – they assured the families that they will not forget their fallen colleagues.
"I am proud of our martyred comrades who died on the battlefield serving their people and country," Abdul Modaber Safi, deputy chief of Baghlan ANP said. "For us they did not die, they live on. They are great examples of real comradeship and true servants of Islam."
He spoke directly to the families gathered and said, "I salute you all as brothers, fathers or mothers of those heroes."
Major Karimdad Azizi joined in singing praise for the fallen ones. As the Chief of Training for Baghlan's Police, he confirmed that all service members are well trained and have high morale by serving their community.
"Those who put their life in danger and fight for the safety of others are real heroes," he expresses. "Losing those who are dear to us is not easy, but they did a great job for their people and their community. Their deeds are worth being honoured."
Having lost his brother who served with the ANP, Qari Agha Mirza from Hussain-e-Khail listened to the speeches with tears in his eyes. "My brother was a real servant of Islam and the people," said Mirza. "He always performed his prayers five times a day. He was a faithful Muslim and a law-abiding citizen." Mirza is convinced that his brother has a place in heaven.
It is this sense of pride that encourages the fifty-four year old Noorgul, father of four children, from Baghlan e Jadid to speak. "My son was also a brave soldier; his deeds filled me with pride and honour." Noorgul expressed with emotions.