"I think he felt safer knowing that I could talk to him in his own language"
At a time when taking one’s own life amongst teens as well as adults are on the rise, particularly in the West, any attempt to avert it is more than welcome.
This is exactly what Hong Kong policeman Ifzal Zaffar successfully managed to do. The 20-year-old officer of Pakistani descent talked a fellow Pakistani out of taking his own life by jumping off a construction site.
Since then, Zaffar has become an overnight star on social media. Netizens just can’t stop praising his heroic act.
According to reports, Ifzal Zaffar was called to the scene at the Western Harbour Tunnel construction site in Hong Kong, on the morning of 12th March 2017, where a Pakistani man had climbed up a crane.
Zaffar handled the situation well and convinced him to come down. After which the man was taken to the hospital.
Soon, the ever-active social media discovered Ifzal Zaffar’s heroic act and went wild. Facebook users thanked him and encouraged him to keep serving the society while also praising him on his good looks.
The fact that he can speak fluently in both Cantonese and Urdu also helped with much of the fanfare.
For Zaffar, however, saving the man was purely his duty: “I used the techniques we learned at the academy … I think he felt safer knowing that I could talk to him in his own language,” he said in an interview.
Ifzal Zaffar in the only Pakistani origin policeman in his district and joined the police force in 2016 through the Operation Gemstone scheme targeted at recruiting non-Chinese police officers. His father is a dressmaker and said that joining the police was Ifzal’s childhood ambition.
The Muslim Council of Hong Kong has also complimented Ifzal on his bravery.
“Bravo to this young man and thank you to the HK police force for bringing him in. Hope more such stories can be seen to show HK is indeed a multi-cultural city,” the council said in a statement.