ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan said Wednesday that police have a pivotal role in uplift of the country by creating sense of security among its citizens.

Addressing a ceremony of police passing out parade here at Islamabad Police Lines, he said peace and security are prerequisite to progress and prosperity. The Prime Minister said a peaceful environment builds trust of investors and they make investments.

Imran Khan said the PTI government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa changed police, and people there now own and give due respect to the police. He said he wants to see a similar changed police in the entire country. He said police should treat every common man as a VIP. The Prime Minister announced Health Cards facility for the personnel of Islamabad Police. He said the card holders can get medical facility at any hospital up to one million rupees.

Prime Minister also assured the ICT police personnel that the government will provide Islamabad police officials with health cards and houses. “I want to say two things to Islamabad police. The first thing is that every official will be given a health card which means that each household will have health insurance for availing treatment at any government or private hospital.”

He added that police and government employees will also be able to buy their own houses under the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme. “The installments you pay will go towards owning your homes. This is a big part of our programme, especially for government employees and police officials like you.”

The premier began his speech by highlighting the importance of the police in society. “A police force has a very big role in society. But, up till now that role has not yet been realised.” He stated that due to colonialism, the people feared the police. “The English had a different sort of force that looked after the people and considered them their own.

Wants police to ‘treat common man like VIP’

“But because they considered us slaves, the attitude of the police was different.” He stated that he wanted the nation to consider the police as their own and to “love them.” He said that when the PTI came into power in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, they saw that the police was the target of terrorism.

“More than 500 police officers had been martyred and morale was low. But the force changed in front of our eyes and fought terrorism. Then there came a time when the people of Peshawar and Mardan staged rallies in support of the police,” he said, adding that he felt pride at seeing the force changing in front of his eyes. The prime minister also gave a few words of advice to the graduates at Wednesday’s ceremony. “You will always have two paths in front of you. Always pray to be put on the path of blessings and not the one that leads to your destruction.”

The prime minister said that back in his days of playing cricket, he was also presented with the choice between two paths when he was invited to play cricket in South Africa under the Apartheid regime and again when he was asked for the decision of a toss in a match.

He said the “path which seems easy” is not always so and is instead the path which leads to “destruction.”

Referring to politicians from the opposition he said: “There were politicians who were given a lot of opportunities and made leaders of the country. They were also presented with these two paths, but the paths they went on, they instead became a source of warning for others. He pointed out that sometimes they are going to the hospitals; sometimes they are going out of the country, their children have run abroad, they have to lie to protect their fathers.

The prime minister said that overseas Pakistanis were the nation’s “biggest assets” and only their help could “uplift Pakistan.” The prime minister said that the most common complaints he received from overseas Pakistanis when he went abroad were the lack of security and safety for their investments and property purchases.

“When they purchase plots or houses here, they get taken over illegally. Overseas Pakistanis need confidence that their money and investment will be safe and secure.” The prime minister said the police, therefore, have a direct role to play in “uplifting Pakistan” by protecting the investments of overseas Pakistanis.

The Prime Minister said the government has secured a major achievement on economic front by turning the country’s current account deficit in surplus for fifth consecutive month after seventeen years.

He said the government has been pursuing the policy controlling expenditures in view of the country’s debt.

He said the expenses of the Prime Minister House have been reduced by 60 percent. Similarly, he said the expenditures of the federal government have also been cut.

Agencies Adds: PM Imran Khan felicitated the outgoing police cadets and urged them to get ready to serve the nation with diligence. He advised them to always choose the path of righteousness in the professional lives, which he said could be tough but based on principles of integrity and honesty. He mentioned that the politicians who chose the path of corruption faced a life filled with humiliation and also pushed the country into debt trap.