Prime Minister Imran Khan is likely to inaugurate the country’s first national emergency helpline 911 on July 25.
It is said to be a tentative deadline to inaugurate the multi-billion scheme named Pakistan Emergency Help Line (PEHL), merging all the emergency service numbers into one. The Prime Minister Secretariat derived this concept from USA’s helpline 911 to give the proposed scheme ‘PEHL’ the national identity.
The work to establish the national helpline began after the Lahore-Sialkot Motorway rape case in which a woman had to go through a trying ordeal and failed to get through any helpline and seek help of government departments due to ‘jurisdiction dispute’. The woman was gang-raped in front of her children in September last year, prompting Prime Minister Imran Khan to launch Pakistan’s first toll-free helpline number that will be accessed by people of all the provinces to avoid any such incident in future.
During the investigation into the gang-rape incident, it was realized that many helplines were functioning at a time but people were confused about which one to go for in any particular area to seek emergency help from the department concerned. The National Highways and Motorway Police and the Lahore police also were at variance about the area of the jurisdiction where the crime had been committed.