Out of humanitarian concern for civilians trapped in North Waziristan, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Sunday urged the government to immediately provide Rs6 billion to K-P from the Coalition Support Funds (CSF) to spearhead the relief efforts for those who have been displaced by the conflict in North Waziristan.
Addressing the media at his hilltop villa, the PTI chief also called for a temporary halt in the military operation in the restive tribal agency, saying that at least 300,000 women and children are still stranded.
“People, particularly children and women are dying due to lack of arrangements and the situation is getting worse”, Imran said.
Citing intelligence reports, the PTI chief said terrorist incidents would resurface across the country once the military campaign ends. Imran warned that militancy would grip Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) in the wake of the operation.
He pointed out that at least 500,000 refugees are expected to seek temporary shelter in Bannu, which will have serious socio-economic consequences for the city that is barely able to sustain its burgeoning population. The PTI chief also urged both Sindh and Punjab governments to accommodate the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and provide them relief.
At the same time, the PTI chief criticised the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz administration for not sharing details of the military operation prior to launching it with the provincial government in K-P.
He said that a plan to facilitate the IDPs should have been chalked out before the launch of the military offensive in the region.
“This planning should have happened before but the KP government was not informed of the operation,” Imran said.
Referring to the Model Town incident, Imran reiterated his demand for resignation of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz and said that former provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah be sent to jail.
The PTI chief advised the government to avoid a confrontation with Tahirul Qadri and refrain from creating hurdles for his supporters.
Imran also said that his party would announce its future strategy against the government in the upcoming Bahawalpur rally if the process of voter verifying was not initiated in the four NA constituencies.
“Government will be fully responsible of the situation,” he cautioned.
Earlier in the day, the PTI chief also visited Bannu commissioner’s Office where he was briefed about the situation and met with IDPs in the camps.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2014.
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