ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal attended the 31st passing out parade ceremony at Police Lines Headquarters on Thursday, his first public appearance since he survived an assassination attempt earlier this month.

The interior minister was welcomed by Inspector General of Islamabad Police (IGP) Dr Sultan Azam Temuri, who briefed him on various wings of the CTF. Islamabad Chief Commissioner Aftab Durrani and other senior officials from the police and district administration were also in attendance.

During his address at the ceremony, the minister said the nation’s defence would be possible not with guns but with a strong economy.

Ahsan Iqbal attends CTF passing out ceremony in first appearance since shooting

He said ultimate victory against terrorism has not yet been achieved, and everyone should be united to defend the country and the Constitution.

He said those fanning hatred were enemies of the country, and the ultimate objection is to free Pakistan of extremism and terrorism.

The minister said those who were martyred in the defence of the country were lucky, and people should be proud of their security agencies.

He said Pakistan had been facing terrorism for many years, and schools and places of worship had been targeted by it. Blood was being spread through such acts of terrorism, and the nation is tired of this situation, he said, adding that the government had taken effective measures to get rid of this menace since 2013.

He said the Zarb-i-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasad operations were launched and had been successful.

A separate hospital will be built for the capital’s police force, for which the government has allocated Rs2 billion in the 2018-19 budget, Mr Iqbal added.

Mr Iqbal also praised the induction of women into the CTF, and congratulated them for choosing a profession that provides protection to citizens. A total of 290 officials were passed out on Thursday, including 28 constables from the Islamabad police, in the second phase. Another 380 had already been passed out in the first phase.

Six month training was given to constables, and a contingent of women was also included in the passing out personnel, he said.

Speaking at the event, the IGP asked the minister to resolve the issue of salaries, as committed by the prime minister, for CTF personnel.

He said various units in the CTF building have been completed, and arms and ammunition will be received in the near future. He added that the Rescue 15 centre connected to the Islamabad Safe City Project will be inaugurated.

He said officers have been shifted to the grand administration blocks and Police Lines barracks, 34 vehicles have been provided and the remaining equipment and weapons will be provided soon.

Later, a contingent of the police presented Mr Iqbal with a guard of honour, who also congratulated CTF Senior Superintendent of Police Ameen Bukhari and other personnel.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2018