Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday launched an emergency helpline – 911 – to provide relief services to the citizens through a single platform, which, he believes, is a major step forward to develop Pakistan on the pattern of a welfare state.
“Now, every citizen in any part of the country will get the state’s response (in case of any emergency). This is a major move forward towards our mission statement of making Pakistan an Islamic welfare state,” the prime minister said while addressing the launching ceremony of the helpline.
The integrated Pakistan Emergency Helpline (PEHEL) – 911 – will provide emergency services such as fire brigade, police, health assistance, disaster recovery and motorway police, etc. A needy person will have to dial just 911 and the call centre will forward the call to the relevant government agency.
The prime minister asserted that the government was striving to provide relief to the people. The citizens should have confidence that the state will respond in case of any threat to their life and property.
Besides being a major facility, the PEHEL would also give the people a feeling that Pakistan “is for all”. “Earlier, there were two parallel systems supporting the rich and the poor, respectively.”
The prime minister also lauded the Ministry of Interior and other collaborating departments for setting up the helpline, saying it would require constant coordination among all provinces.
“This project should have all provinces on board because it is about the benefit of all,” he remarked.
The premier said that the PEHEL helpline would also enable the government to maintain the crime data, besides assessing the requirement of resources in different sectors.
Reiterating his vision of making Pakistan a welfare state, he said that his government had launched the Sehat Insaf Card, providing Rs1 million health insurance facility to every family across the country, except the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led Sindh province. He said that the people of Sindh could not get the facility of health insurance.
The government, he said, had introduced a national single curriculum to do away with the discriminatory education system and had also launched multiple welfare initiatives under the umbrella of Ehsaas and Kamyab Jawan programmes, including skill training, interest-free loans, housing loans and farmer loans.
Moreover, the introduction of a legal aid system to provide free legal services to the needy was also on his government’s agenda, he added.
Imran Khan said that a welfare state takes responsibility of all of its citizens without considering a dearth of resources. He added that China had steered around 700 million people out of poverty within 35 years by following this idea.
He maintained that the country could not achieve progress without inclusivity.