New houses to be built on IDPs return: PM

BANNU: Pledging full support to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from North Waziristan on Friday, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said that new houses would be constructed on the return of the IDPs.

Addressing the IDPs in the Bakkakhel area in Frontier Region, he said, if required, billions would be spent for the rehabilitation of the NWA’s displaced persons. He said the entire nation stood by them. “The whole nation appreciates your leave one’s abode in this scorching heat. The government is striving hard to provide you basic facilities,” Nawaz Sharif said.

The camp is sparsely populated as the displaced people have avoided staying there due to its unsuitable location and inadequate facilities.The prime minister said the government would reconstruct the houses of the IDPs after the completion of the military operation.

He said that the government had decided to increase the monthly cash compensation of the IDPs from Rs12 000 to Rs20 000 a month including Rs3 000 for the monthly house rent and Rs5,000 for the non-food items. Therefore, the IDPs would be given Rs40,000 as cash compensation for the month of Ramazan which included Rs20 000 Ramazan package.

“We will utilise all available resources to facilitate you,” he said.The prime minister told the IDPs that he was aware of their difficulties and sentiments because leaving native homes was not an easy task. He said that he was confident that this problem would be resolved soon and the IDPs would return to their homes with honour and dignity.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said that his government was well aware of the problems of dislocated people of NWA and reaffirmed the government commitment to utilise all the available resources for provision of speedy assistance and rehabilitation and ensure their early resettlement in their houses.

The prime minister said that there was no dearth of resources and the government would ensure provision of assistance, rehabilitation and relief and early settlement process. The prime minister said the IDPs were passing through difficult time and their sacrifices would not go waste. He hoped that their hard period in this harsh weather would come to an end soon.

The prime minister said that the government was working day and night to provide all the basic amenities of life to dislocated people to lessen their difficulties. The government and Army, he said, were working together day and night with the prime objective to provide comforts and relief to their tribal brethren. “This is not a kindness to them but we are fulfilling our duties,” he said.

Nawaz Sharif said the IDPs would be helped in reconstruction phase once the situation had improved in NWA. He said that the government would repair and improve the basic infrastructure including roads, health, clean drinking water facilities, schools and hospitals etc once law and order situation improved in the area. Nawaz Sharif said rebuilding and reconstruction phase in North Waziristan would not only generate employment opportunities for tribal people but would open up areas for trade and investment. It would alleviate poverty and bring progress and prosperity. He said the entire nation was united against the menace of terrorism and militancy and time was not far when complete peace would return to the agency.

Nawaz Sharif said that the government was left with no option but to launch massive military operation after failure of peace talks to establish its writ and protect the lives and properties of the people.The prime minister said that he held a detailed meeting with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) governor and chief minister besides Army officials to review arrangements for the IDPs. He prayed to Allah Almighty to help the government in its efforts to eradicate terrorism and extremism to bring peace to North Waziristan.

He said peace was vital for progress and development of Pakistan. With prayers of IDPs, he said, peace would soon prevail in North Waziristan Agency. He said effective arrangements had been made for the provision of fodder and shelter to livestock brought by the IDPs. He lauded Pakistan Army and other departments for extending full support to IDPs. In addition to medicines, he said, doctors and paramedics had arrived in sufficient number to treat and vaccinate their brethrens. Later, the prime minister distributed relief goods and food packages among the IDPs and assured full support in future. He also shook hand with the IDPs on the occasion and inquired about their well being.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif publicly praised Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif and highlighted the role of his troops in offering sacrifices in the North Waziristan operation. Lauding the efforts of the Pakistan Army, Nawaz Sharif said the soldiers were playing a crucial role in facilitating the displaced people.

Earlier, General Raheel Sharif, Corps Commander Peshawar Lt Gen Khalid Rabbani and other senior military and civil officers received the prime minister. He was given a briefing by the military officials about the services being offered to the IDPs.

Local journalists in Bannu weren’t allowed to cover the visit of the prime minister.The prime minister was accompanied by Minister for Safron Lt Gen (R) Abdul Qadir Baloch and Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rasheed.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan, Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Nasir Khan Durrani and Bannu Commissioner Syed Mohsin Shah, who is the focal person for the IDPs, were also present on the occasion. (Courtesy: The News)