ISLAMABAD: Speakers at a seminar on “Impact of terrorism on Human Rights” on Tuesday stressed for the look after of the affairs of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) of the North Waziristan Agency, and expressed the fear that the war on terror may be spread to other parts of the country.
Senate opposition leader Aitzaz Ahsan told participants in the seminar that Pakistan is at war and the battlefield is not only the North Waziristan Agency, but also the entire country. The operation initiative may be taken in any part of the country. According to him this war may take a long time, it may take several months, and it looks like that all that the government did is not enough for the IDPs. “If we fail to satisfy the IDPs we will lose the war,” he said. Paying Rs 40,000 is not enough, and more efforts are required to minimise the suffering of the internally displaced persons, he added.
Speaking on the occasion, States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Federal Minister, Lt General (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch said that the government is well aware of the condition of the IDPs and it is utilising all available resources for mitigating their suffering. “We are leaving no stone unturned in providing relief to the IDPs from the NWA and the role of the Pakistan Army in this regard is commendable,” he said, adding that due to the military’s effective role, the government’s task had become easier. The government held peace talks with militants but they were not sincere and the militants failed to make the talks successful, he claimed.
The government would not relax as the process of registration and provision of food, medicines and other items continued with the help of the military until the last of IDPs are settled, he said. He noted that the government is paying Rs 40,000 per family along with a food ration pack worth Rs 20,000 and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is also providing some relief to the IDPs.
The government was compelled to start a military operation for a state was created within the country where terrorists from within and outside the country set together to carry out terrorist activities. Care has been taken during the military operation to protect the human rights of local people, added Baloch.
Up till now, the minister said, 850,000 IDPs have been registered with the government and the number might increase in the near future as more people are coming out of their homes in NWA. He said the IDPs are suffering not from their own mistake; they are rather making sacrifices for the sake of their country. The minister admitted that despite the government’s efforts to facilitate the IDPs, it has failed to attract them and they prefer to remain with their relatives or in rented premises instead of nominated camps.
Once the war is over, the government will establish a “Marshall Plan” for rehabilitation of the IDPs. He also regretted that instead of the Pakistani law, draconian law FCR was implemented in the tribal areas, the minister maintained.
The SAFRON minister regretted that the media does not give proper coverage to the war on terror and rather irrelevant news is telecast all day. “There is a need to mobilise the entire nation into this war,” the minister added.
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