ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has asked the police department to give equal treatment to “powerful and weak” law offenders and take stern action against “bigwigs” involved in crimes and illegalities.

“Deal powerful people with an iron fist and empathise with the poor as jailing small fish isn’t law enforcement,” he said while inaugurating the Eagle Squad unit of Islamabad police on Wednesday.

“There are no holy cows… even if Imran Khan breaks law, arrest him. And if you fail to do so, I will take action against you,” he said, adding that whenever powerful people broke law, police should deal with them with full force.

The prime minister said that the police had the responsibility of law enforcement, “and in countries where police perform well, it leads to peace and prosperity.”

Citing example of Riasat-i-Madina (State of Madina), Mr Khan said there should be equal treatment for powerful and weak criminals. “Pakistan could not progress during the past years because of dual laws — one for the poor and the other for the rich,” he added.

On the occasion, the prime minister was told that the Eagle Squad unit of Islamabad police comprised 100 motorcycles and was established at a cost of Rs300 million. The squad will patrol in the capital on the state of the art two-wheelers.

Prime Minister Khan said that taking action against illegal practices led to supremacy of law and urged the police department to adopt latest technology to upgrade their workflow.

He said that a country generated more revenue when its law and order situation was stable because it ensured safety of investments.

“The capital houses foreign embassies and missions, and when the environment is safe and secure (in the city), it has a big effect on visitors, and this leads to prosperity in the country.”

He said that when peaceful and safe environment was ensured in the capital city it gave the impression that the entire country was safe for foreign and local investments.

PM meets PTI legislators

The prime minister met a number of ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) legislators and expressed dissatisfaction at “hooliganism” witnessed in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

Those who called on the prime minister in separate meetings included MNAs Kanwal Shauzab, Munazza Hassan, Khurram Shahzad, Amir Liaquat, Asim Nazir, Ramesh Kumar and Haji Imtiaz Ahmed and Senator Mohsin Aziz. Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan with his son and nephew also called on the premier.

Talking to Dawn, MNA Shauzab, who had received an injury on her shoulder when an opposition member hit her with a budget book during rumpus in the assembly, said that the prime minister was unhappy over the clash between the opposition and treasury members in the house.

She said the prime minister inquired about her injury and said that it was ironical that the PTI’s women MNAs were targeted during pandemonium.

The prime minister, she said, was of the view that legislators of both sides (opposition and treasury) should not use abusive language and should avoid going to each other’s areas.

Asked whether the prime minister had directed his party’s MNAs to create disturbance during the speech of opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif, as claimed by the opposition, Ms Shauzab said: “The prime minister had not given such instructions to PTI MNAs and therefore he was unhappy with many in the treasury side who had used abusive language and hurled budget books to the other side.”

She said the prime minister urged his party’s legislators not to follow the opposition members who disturbed the assembly session and remarked that: “It is the opposition’s culture that marred the proceedings of the house and it should not be followed by the treasury members.”

Aviation Minister Sarwar Khan’s son Mansoor Hayat Khan, MNA, and nephew Amaar Siddique, MPA from Punjab, accompanied him during the meeting with the prime minister.

Former prime minister of Azad Kashmir Sardar Atiq also met the prime minister and discussed coming elections in Azad Jammu and Kashmir scheduled to be held on July 25.

According to the Prime Minister Office, it was decided that the Muslim Conference of Mr Atiq and the PTI would contest elections separately but would have a joint strategy to highlight Kashmir issue.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Khan has called a meeting of the Council of Common Interests on Thursday (today) to discuss important national issues with the provincial governments. The meeting will be attended by the chief ministers and chief secretaries of the four provinces.The issues to be discussed included the federal budget, development funds and distribution of Indus water.

Published in Dawn, June 17th, 2021

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