Displaced by fighting: Groundswell of support for N Waziristan IDPs

Published: June 25, 2014
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Humanitarian aid for IDPs leaves Dubai for Islamabad. PHOTO: APP

Humanitarian aid for IDPs leaves Dubai for Islamabad. PHOTO: APP

KARACHI / LAHORE / QUETTA: 

As political uncertainty subsided, politicians sprang into action to help tens of thousands of tribesmen displaced by fighting in North Waziristan Agency. 

Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch announced that the internally displaced persons (IDPs) are welcome in his province. “They will be sheltered in temporary camps where all facilities will be made available,” he said while speaking on the floor of the Balochistan Assembly on Tuesday.

On June 19, the Balochistan government had deployed more Frontier Corps troops in the areas bordering South Waziristan Agency to check a possible influx of IDPs from North Waziristan.

The chief minister also said that notwithstanding all the weaknesses and flaws, law and order, health, education and other sectors have improved considerably.

“We are lagging behind African nations in health and education sectors,” Malik regretted.

Meanwhile Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said his government has set up an IDPs relief fund with Rs500 million while members of the provincial assembly have donated their one-month salary for the noble cause.

He was talking to the media after sending 50 truckloads of relief goods for the IDPs from the Model Town Secretariat. The trucks carried 2,000 tents, 400,000kg of wheat floor, 280,000kg of rice and 20,000 food hampers.

In Karachi, Pakistan Peoples Party patron-in-chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari asked all senators, MNAs, and MPAs of his party to donate one month’s salary for the Waziristan IDPs.

“The IDPs are our heroes who are undergoing untold sufferings and miseries in the nation’s drive against militants and they must not be left alone in this hour of need,” he said.

Meanwhile, the first humanitarian aid convoy from the UAE left Islamabad on Tuesday, with supplies valued at US$ 2.5 million. 3,550 tonnes of food rations will be distributed in the form of 71 kilo food baskets, each containing food products such as flour, rice, dates, sugar, salt, lentils, oil and tea.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 25th, 2014.

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