‘911’ – Pakistan’s first national emergency helpline ‘all set for launch on July 25’

LAHORE – Pakistan is all set to roll out a national emergency helpline, akin to the United States 911, which Prime Minister Imran Khan will likely inaugurate on July 25.

The concept of the ‘one dedicated helpline’ aimed to merge all emergency service numbers into one. Reports in local media quoting sources cited that the project was proposed by Prime Minister Imran Khan to help citizens in the event of an emergency.

The first national emergency helpline, 911, can be dialed to avail different services including law enforcement, rescue services, motorway police, hospitals, and other call services in a bid to avoid ringing different departments during emergencies.

Meanwhile, July 25 is said to be a tentative deadline to inaugurate the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf key project named ‘Pakistan Emergency Help Line (PEHL)’.

Let it be known that the Prime Minister directed the officials to launch the initiative in light of the heinous gang-rape of a woman in front of her children on the Lahore-Sialkot motorway back in September last year.

The key project addressed the ordeal which the gang-rape victim faced, the woman is reportedly tried to reach motorway police and later failed due to many of the factors including no dedicated emergency line and jurisdiction dispute.

The victim, who was sexually assaulted in front of her children, prompted the premier to launch the country’s first toll-free helpline that will be accessed throughout the state to avoid any such event.

Probe in the gang rape suggests that many helplines were functioning at a time but officials were confused about which one to go for in any particular area to seek emergency help from the department concerned.

The spokesperson for the dedicated helpline Adil Safi while speaking with a Pakistani news outlet told that ‘the last and key meeting with the provinces in this respect will likely to be held in the coming week to give green signal to the initiative.

Safi, the deputy secretary at the PM House, added that experts studied models of the universal helplines of Britain, the USA, and some other countries before working on PEHL. He also revealed that a number of experts proposed ‘786’ initially which was later changed to 911.

The first national emergency helpline has been established under the Ministry of Interior while the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) in the federal capital will be the head office for the service.

He further added that all provinces have been directed to establish control rooms in their respective jurisdictions by making appointments of trained staff. The deputed staff will attend live calls who would then transfer the same to the officials concerned for quick action.

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