LAHORE: Announcing establishment of a hospital, technical institute and a college for girls in North Waziristan Agency (NWA), Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that the people and the government of Punjab stand by internally displaced persons (IDPs) of the NWA at this critical juncture and that they will be provided all-out help and assistance for their quick rehabilitation.
According to a handout, the chief minister was addressing a gathering of IDPs in the city of Bannu in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province on Monday.
Shahbaz said that the Punjab government had set up the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund with a sum of Rs 500 million and that philanthropists as well as ordinary citizens were donating generously to the fund.
He said that the Punjab government had started providing cash assistance to the IDPs and that Rs 7,000 were being given to the head of each displaced family. He also announced provision of fodder for the cattle of the IDPs.
Provincial ministers Raja Ashfaq Sarwar, Rana Mashhood Ahmed, Col (r) Shuja Khanzada and Chaudhry Shafique Ahmed and Chief Secretary Naveed Akram were accompanying the chief minister.
Shahbaz Sharif said that the Armed Forces were fighting for the survival of the country and were engaged in a war against such terrorists who wanted imposing their ideology on the people of Pakistan at gunpoint. He said that enemies of Pakistan had paralysed the life of the people of Pakistan and that the whole nation was praying for the success of the operation against terrorists.
He said that as bullet was necessary for elimination of terrorism and extremism, provision of education, healthcare and other facilities was essential to save the poor and backward people from being misled by extremists.
He said that after successful operation in Swat, a number of positive measures were taken for socio-economic uplift of the resident of that area and that a modern hospital was constructed in Swat with a sum of Rs 860 million. He said that the people of Pakistan would come out of this difficult phase with the blessings of Allah.
In response to demands of the IDPs, Shahbaz assured them that he would talk to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to cut the duration of electricity outages in Bannu.
Earlier, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Governor Sardar Mehtab Abbasi said in his address that Punjab was the first province which had set up a relief fund for the IDPs.
A representative of tribal people, Malik Nasrullah, said that tribal people consider Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif as their elder brothers and that they expect a lot from the prime minister and the Punjab chief minister.
Earlier, Shahbaz Sharif was given a warm welcome upon his arrival in Bannu. General Officer Commanding (GOC) Major General Akhtar Rao and other army officers received the chief minister at Brigade Headquarters at the historical Bannu Fort.
The GOC said that he welcomes Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on behalf of Army Chief General Raheel Sharif, officers and soldiers of Pakistan Army. General Rao lauded the services of the Punjab government regarding relief and rehabilitation of IDPs.
The chief minister was taken to the site inside the fort where Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had addressed the tribal people in 1948 and had appreciated their love for Pakistan. During his address, the chief minister also referred to that speech of Quaid-i-Azam.
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