Pakistan honours INTERPOL
Prestigious civilian award accepted by Secretary General on behalf of INTERPOL's 188 member countries
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan has given special recognition to the world's largest police organization after conferring the Hilal-e Pakistan (Crescent of Pakistan) award to INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble on the occasion of Pakistan's National Day.
Accepting one of Pakistan's highest civilian awards as 'a great honour and privilege', Secretary General Noble paid tribute to Pakistan's steadfast and long-standing support of INTERPOL in combating terrorism and transnational crime to protect citizens at home and around the world since it joined INTERPOL in 1952.
"For more than 80 years, INTERPOL has been bringing police forces around the globe together, to enhance co-operation and to ensure the security of the world's citizens. And as a valued member country, Pakistan has consistently and resolutely supported our efforts to fight terrorism and all serious transnational crime," said Secretary General Noble.
"Pakistan's commitment to INTERPOL and law enforcement worldwide has been instrumental in the development of many key security initiatives against major crimes."
In this respect, Mr Noble recalled how following the brutal terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India in November 2008, Pakistan's Minister of Interior, Rehman Malik, directed INTERPOL's National Central Bureau (NCB) in Islamabad to issue a global INTERPOL alert for individuals wanted in connection with the attacks and to provide INTERPOL member countries with valuable intelligence related to the Mumbai attacks. The prompt response by Pakistan was greatly appreciated by the international law enforcement community.
The alert, which was sent to all member countries, followed a series of high-level meetings between an INTERPOL delegation led by Secretary General Noble with Pakistani and other countries' officials. INTERPOL was especially pleased that it was in a position to enhance police co-operation in the sharing of information by Pakistan and India via INTERPOL.
"As a country whose citizens have suffered major terrorist attacks and is far too frequently the target of terrorist attacks, Pakistan has remained at the forefront of the global anti-terrorist struggle. Its law enforcement officials and citizens show great courage and determination in their efforts to keep Pakistan and the world safe from terrorism," added Mr Noble.
"International police co-operation is seldom recognized in such a formal and significant way, and this is why I am especially proud to accept the Hilal-e Pakistan honour on behalf of the dedicated law enforcement professionals at INTERPOL's General Secretariat and National Central Bureaus worldwide," concluded Secretary General Noble.
During his two-day mission (24-25 March) to Pakistan, the Secretary General of INTERPOL will hold bilateral meetings with Minister of Interior Rehman Malik, Minister of Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, and the Director General of Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Head of NCB Islamabad, Waseem Ahmed.
Talks will cover areas of co-operation between Pakistan and the world police body, including Project GIZ, a EUR 2 million initiative co-ordinated by INTERPOL to give direct access to frontline officers to INTERPOL global databases in 39 sites throughout Pakistan. The project aims to reinforce the national and regional exchange of criminal intelligence with INTERPOL's member countries.