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Ex-PMs Gilani, Raja vow to support IDPs

* Call for winning their hearts and minds

ISLAMABAD: Two former prime ministers Yousaf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervez Ashraf on Monday announced all-out support for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) of North Waziristan Agency (NWA).
The formers premiers, who have been making headlines over a corruption scandal of NAB and deal with former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, have in recent days joined hands for a different cause, to help the IDPs. Speaking to media persons, Gilani and Raja said that the country faces the enormous task of settling the IDPs and it is the right time to win their hearts and minds. The PPP leaders dispatched relief goods for the IDPs on Monday and vowed to send more today (Tuesday).
Gilani, who refused to talk on Musharraf deal after triggering a new debate in the media, paid homage to the armed forces for their courage and bravery while fighting for the security of the country. “The armed forces are fighting to secure our future and need our full support,” Gilani said. 
He was endorsed by Raja Pervez Ashraf, who said that Pakistan’s armed forces have waged the offensive for a noble and great cause. About the financial help to the IDPs, Gilani said that the PPP would go to any extent to help their brethren in their hour of need and vowed to go abroad for fund-raising, if needed.
He announced that his party would go to Bannu District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to help the IDPs. Gilani recalled that the previous PPP government had to settle an even bigger number of IDPs in Swat, where 2.5 million people were displaced due to a military operation, as compared to 0.8 million uprooted by the army operation in North Waziristan Agency. “We handled 2.5 million IDPs of Swat efficiently and ensured their return to their hometown once the operation was over,” Gilani said. 
Meanwhile, Raja said that the IDPs of NWA are a test case for the present government as to how it would tackle them, and said that “the government can learn from the precedent set by the former PPP government by managing IDPs of Swat”. Raja called the IDPs of NWA “heroes of nation” who had to leave their homes for the sake of the country. He said they are scarifying their present for the future generations of the country.

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