The return of IDPs to their homes with honour is among the top priorities of the government and it will not let resource constraints be an impediment in the way, said Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan on Saturday.
While addressing a grand jirga of tribesmen residing in Karachi, Mehtab lauded Fata’s tribesmen, saying “The people of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas have stood by the security forces to fight a war against militancy.”
According to handout issued, Mehtab said peace in Pakistan hinges on stability in the tribal areas. Senator Taj Muhammad Afridi, former senator Haji Abdur Rahman Mohmand, former federal minister Abdul Qayyum Khan and tribal elders in Karachi attended the moot.
Mehtab insisted the government had initiated efforts for the restoration of peace and stability in the tribal region. “But terrorists have continued to target Pakistan and did not responded well to peace efforts,” the handout quoted Mehtab as saying.
As a result, military offensives such as Operation Zarb-e-Azb, Khyber-I and II have been launched to crack down on militancy and bring peace to the region. Due to these operations, the command and control of terrorists has been greatly compromised, he said.
Speaking about the IDPs, the governor said the federal government has allocated Rs100 billion to reconstruct their homes. Rs600 million has also been released from the Annual Development Programme to provide drinking water, electricity and other infrastructural facilities in war-torn areas, he added.
According to the handout, tribal elders also addressed the jirga and presented their concerns on a series of challenges they face. Suggestions and feedback on peace and development efforts in the tribal belt were also sought from tribespeople based in Karachi. The jirga unanimously supported the government’s efforts for the betterment and development of tribal belt as well as the restoration of peace and stability.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 7th, 2015.