PM orders setting up a national emergency helpline after motorway gang-rape

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday directed the PM Delivery Unit (PMDU) to set up a national emergency helpline within two months, the Ministry of Information said.

“Motorway incident: Big decision by Prime Minister Imran Khan. Government decides to establish a national emergency helpline. Prime Minister Imran Khan has made the PM Delivery Unit responsible for this important task,” the ministry said in a tweet.

The premier’s directives come weeks after a woman was gang-raped on the Lahore-Sialkot motorway in front of her children while she was waiting for help after calling the motorway police’s helpline 130 when her car developed a fault.

There were reports that the victim was denied assistance because the area in question was not covered by the Pakistan National Highway and Motorway Police.

A spokesperson for the PNH&MP had confirmed this while talking to Dawn.

The information ministry, in a series of tweets on Wednesday, said that a separate system would be constituted for the national emergency helpline. “There will be one helpline number for any emergency nationwide.”

All existing helplines across the country would be connected to the new national helpline, the ministry said, adding that the number of the helpline would be toll free.

“Immediate assistance of the citizen will be possible.”

The system would incorporate the latest technology and all mobile phone companies in the country would be asked to cooperate. Legislation would be done to make the system “effective and permanent”, the ministry said. Discussions with provinces in this regard would also be held, it added.

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