PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has said that his government was ready to cut down the annual development Programme to utilize it for the welfare of the displaced tribal people from North Waziristan Agency due to military operation there.
Addressing the North Waziristan Qaumi Jirga at KP Assembly, he said he and his party leader Imran Khan had met the Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif day earlier to discuss the problems being faced by the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and have got assurances accordingly.
The jirga members thanked Pervez Khattak for giving shelter to millions of IDPs from FATA and endeavoring for best stay arrangements for them as well as apprised claim of their certain problems.
The Chief Minister after listening to the demands of the jirga said they could feel the pain of the displaced people from North Waziristan where the military launched an all out operation three weeks ago to dismantle the terror infrastructure. The operation forced over 800,000 people to flee the area and take shelter in nearly Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, mainly in Bannu.
“We understand how difficult it is to leave one’s home in this scorching heat and all our sympathies are with you,” Pervez Khattak told the tribesmen. “We are ready to shut down the ADP but will not let you have any problem or feeling alone at his time of odd,” he said. The provincial government’s ADP for fiscal year 2014-15 is Rs.139.9 billion.
The Chief Minister said his government’s commitment could be judged from the fact that several cabinet members had come to meet the jirga in order to learn about their problems. He said he had undertake four visits to Bannu after the start of the displacement, adding, Imran Khan has directed him to make sure not even a child was left out of proper care so the IDPs had to be hosted nicely to the maximum extent.
He said Speaker Asad Qaiser had been asked by Imran Khan to coordinate relief efforts among the federal and provincial government and the army. He said the health minister Shahram Khan Tarakai would visit Bannu to review the healthcare facilities for IDPs. “I felt like crying when visited a children hospital where children were in agony due to the heat at the time of load-shedding,” Pervez Khattak said.
He said pak army would soon allow the NGOs to carry out relief work. “Army has to control everything and is not allowing NGOs to work due to security reason, it has even denied access to the Imran Khan Foundation,” he added.
On a demand of the Jirga that the monthly cash in aid should be increased to Rs.50,000, the Chief Minister said they would take up the issue with the federal government.
Speaker Asad Qaiser said displacement was a common tragedy. He said they were the guests of the provincial government and would not let them feel that they were away from home.
Earlier, a representative of the Jirga, Rahmatullah Khan, presented a list of demands. In one of the demands the jirga asked the Chief Minister to use his offices to ensure that burial of their dead were allowed in their ancestral graveyards in North Waziristan, Pervez Khattak said he was not in a position to materialize that demand but the provincial government would purchase a graveyard for them in Bannu.
Rahimatullah, on behalf of the jirga, asked the chief minister to extend the process of registration for a month. Pervez Khattak promised to talk to the Corps Commander Peshawar about it.
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