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In what was his first public speech after being injured in an assassination attempt, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Thursday praised the police and other security forces for their efforts in countering terrorism.

Speaking at a passing out parade of the Counter-Terrorism Force at Islamabad's Police Lines, Iqbal highlighted the fact that a record budget has been allocated for the police in the upcoming year's federal budget.

He also promised to build the National Police Hospital, which will cost around Rs2 billion.

Recounting improvements in the police's performance, Iqbal noted that the first batch of riot police will pass out this year.

He also said he wants every police vehicle to be a smart car connected to police headquarters.

Iqbal, who was discharged from hospital earlier this week after being treated for nine days, said that he feels proud of security forces and salutes the personnel martyred in the line of duty.

"Those who die for their country are lucky," he said at one point.

The interior minister also said that the country has been the target of terrorists for long, but has finally been able to curb terrorism to a great extent.

"We do not want to give our next generations a Pakistan where they have to live in fear," he said, adding that "we can never hate anyone who carries a Pakistani identity card".