LAHORE: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif says the provincial government has taken a lead by setting up Dolphin Force for the first time in the country and the force will prove a milestone in the history of Punjab police.

He thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Ahmet Dawood Oglu, the interior minister, ambassador, Turkish National Police and people of Turkey for extending cooperation in providing modern training to Dolphin Force.

Addressing the passing-out parade of the first batch of 700 personnel of Dolphin Force at Chung Police Training Centre on Thursday, Shahbaz said: “This journey of friendship and cooperation between the two countries is continuing and bilateral relations have turned into strong economic cooperation.”

The chief minister said the free trade agreement would increase economic and trade cooperation with Turkey.

He said: “Pakistanis are grieved at deaths in the recent terror incidents in Ankara and Istanbul.” Mr Sharif said the first batch of Dolphin Force was prepared with a lot of hard work and efforts and it would safeguard citizens in mohallahs and streets and deal with street crime in an effective manner.

He said recruitment to all departments and police were being made on merit and the same policy was adopted for Dolphin Force.

Earlier addressing the ceremony, IG Mushtaq Sukhera said officials of Turk National Police had extended all-out cooperation for the establishment of Dolphin Force and “it has been imparted training on modern lines.”

Turkish Ambassador Sadik Babur Girgin said: “The friendship between Pakistan and Turkey is everlasting and there is a strong bond of brotherhood between the people of two countries.”

The ambassador paid tributes to former provincial minister Shuja Khanzada and said he worked a lot for cooperation between the Punjab government and Turkey in the training of police and in different sectors.

On the occasion, Shahbaz Sharif also inspected passing-out parade of Dolphin Force and witnessed a practical display of their training. He also gave prizes to the jawans showing best performance.

The chief minister gave a souvenir to the Turkish ambassador on behalf of Dolphin Force, Lahore, whereas the IG presented a souvenir to Shahbaz Sharif.

Published in Dawn, March 25th, 2016