KARACHI: Denying reports that Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and their families had entered Karachi’s city limits, the federal minister for states and frontier regions, Lt Gen (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch said that most of the IDPs were settled at camps or with their relatives.
“So far 478,000 people have been registered and 200 to 300 families are at camps, the rest have moved in with their relatives,” he said. “Not a single family of these registered IDPs is in Karachi.” He added that after the evacuation process, they will start the scrutiny of the IDPs through the National Database and Registration Authority.
The federal minister appealed to industrialists and the business community to help the IDPs who had to leave their homes due to the operation against militants in North Waziristan.
While addressing a press conference after a meeting with businessmen at Federation House, he said that the IDPs were not terrorists. “ We would prefer to generate resources in our own country to help the 2.5 million people displaced because of the operation rather than seeking international help,” he said. “Each family will be given Rs2,000 per month and Rs400,000 will be provided to those whose houses have been destroyed.” He added that the families whose homes were partially destroyed will receive Rs100,000.
Discussing what was needed by the IDPs at the moment, the federal minister said they needed water coolers, tents, fans and readymade clothes urgently for women and children. He said that the government and army had managed to help evacuate around a million people from June 15 to July 15 out of which 450,000 were women and children.
According to the minister, relief funds will be provided to the IDPs through text messages. “Each family has been given a mobile phone SIM. We have given a total of 60,000 SIMs so far and this process will continue,” he said. Abdul Qadir Baloch said that the federal government has purchased flour worth Rs 1.4 billion and the UAE and Punjab governments have also supplied ration for these people, but there was dire need for other resources to rehabilitate the IDPs.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2014.