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LAHORE: The US Ambassador to Pakistan, Donald Bloom, expressed his commitment to enhancing cooperation in bilateral security matters between the Punjab Police and the United States.

During a meeting held at the CPO office on Tuesday, Ambassador Bloom, alongside American Consul General Kristin K Hawkins, Economics Officer Douglas Johnston, and Security Attaché Mike Diamond, engaged in discussions with Inspector General of Punjab Police, Dr Usman Anwar, and other police officials on Tuesday.

The Ambassador commended the Punjab Police for their sacrifices, pivotal role, and accomplishments in combating terrorism and extremism. The Punjab Police and American security agencies agreed to strengthen their collaborative efforts against terrorism and extremism. Special attention was given to improving the participation of young Punjab Police officers in the United States security training programs.

Notably, this visit marked the first time an American ambassador had visited the Central Police Office. The discussions encompassed security concerns concerning American citizens throughout Punjab, including Lahore and USID programs.

Dr Usman Anwar, IG Punjab, assured the US delegation of the top priority given to the foolproof security of American citizens, investors, and experts within the province, highlighting the dedicated efforts of the Special Protection Unit.

He emphasized the Punjab Police’s commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment, noting that 15% comprises women officers and personnel. Dr. Anwar expressed gratitude to USID for providing advanced training to victim support women officers at the police Tahaffuz Marakaz.

The IG informed the US Ambassador about the objectives and services offered by the Tahaffuz Marakaz and Messaq Centres, emphasizing their crucial roles in assisting and protecting transgender individuals, needy children, and women facing social challenges.

Additionally, the Meesaq Centres were highlighted for their efforts to safeguard the lives and property of minority citizens and improve service delivery across the province.

Dr Usman Anwar further mentioned that over 15 million people have benefited from the state-of-the-art online facilities provided by the police Tahaffuz Marakaz and the IT reforms and expansion of Safe Cities initiatives to other districts. He expressed the intention to enhance the quality of police training institutes with American collaboration and equip the force with modern equipment.

The discussion also included plans for upgrading the Central Fingerprint Bureau of the Punjab Police with expertise in artificial intelligence and ongoing measures to combat drug-related issues. Establishing a satellite unit for forensic laboratories in divisional police headquarters was another topic on the agenda.

During the visit, the American delegation was given the opportunity to explore the Martyrs and Ghazi Walls at the Central Police Office and view historical artefacts related to the police at the CPO Museum.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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