MARDAN, Nov 8: The time after calamity or accident to rescue and shift the injured to hospital is critical and therefore, Rescue 1122 services are of great importance, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti said here on Thursday.

Speaking at the launch of Rescue 1122, the chief minister said the need for prompt response under the current delicate circumstances was direly felt.

He said the people of the province faced the challenges of militancy and religious extremism, necessitating prompt response in case of emergency.

Mr Hoti urged the district and divisional administrations and media to create public awareness of Rescue 1122 services.

“We do not want people remained deprived of the services due to unawareness,” he said.

He said the services of officers and employees of Rescue 1122 have been regularised under Rescue Act and now they are legal government employees and they would have all the facilities and privileges of government servants.

The chief minister thanked the Punjab government, especially his counterpart, for support and cooperation to provide rescue training to volunteers from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at Lahore Academy.

He lauded the services of Rescue 1122 in Peshawar and said the services had been formally launched in Mardan keeping its importance and utility in view.

Mr Hoti said Rescue 1122 services would be gradually extended to other divisional headquarters of the province, adding that scarcity of the resources would not hinder the project. He termed rescue volunteers as real khudai khidmatgar.

The chief minister said five temporary stations had been established for 1122 services in Mardan and they included Mardan Medical Complex, Town Hall, Charsadda Road, Swabi Road and Takht Bhai, while land for buildings of five stations had been acquired.

EDUCATION ONLY WAY TO MEET CHALLENGES: The provincial chief minister on Wednesday said education was the only way to successfully face the critical challenges and difficulties faced by Pakhtuns besides removing ignorance and securing a bright future for the coming generations.

“We can not ignore education knowing its importance for progress,” he said at the inaugural ceremony of 11 developmental projects of Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan.

Mr Hoti minister said the developmental projects would be completed until 2014 at the total cost of Rs4.5 billion.

He said not only the people of Mardan city but also those of other areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would benefit from Abdul Wali Khan University and its eight campuses in the province.

The chief minister said his government had increased the annual funding for higher education from Rs1.31 billion to Rs 5.6 billion and that showed its commitment to equip the new generation with modern education.

He said the successive governments established only 10 universities in the province over 60 years, while the ANP-led government had set up eight government universities in different parts of the province in four and a half years.

“It’s a clear refection of our policies meant to develop education sector,” he said.

Earlier, the chief minister laid the foundation stone for 11 developmental projects at Bacha Khan Greater Education Complex.

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