ISLAMABAD - Lt Gen (Retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch, federal minister for states and frontier region (SAFRON), on Tuesday lashed out at political parties for doing politics on the issue of displaced people of North Waziristan.
Speaking at a news conference here, the minister who is focal person for provision of relief to internally displaced persons (IDPs), contradicted the statement of PTI Chairman Imran Khan that the federal government was not in touch with KP government over relief activities to IDPs.
“The federal government is very much in touch with the Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in every possible measure taken for IDPs,” the minister said.
Responding to the displeasure shown by former President and Co-chairman PPP Asif Ali Zardari that IDPs have been ignored by the government, the minister said a single politician from PPP had not visited the IDPs camp near Bannu.
“Political parties instead of criticising the government over IDPs issue should come forward and help us. They should not resort to dirty politics and should rather guide the government about how can we take good care of IDPs,” the minister said.
Baloch said the government had deputed medical teams from Pakistan Institutes of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Islamabad and Punjab to provide medical facilities to the IDPs, adding that there was no complaint of any infectious diseases in the area. He said that Punjab government was extending all-out support to the IDPs and other provinces should follow the example.
The minister said that until now ration had been provided to 100,000 displaced families and each food packet contained 100-kilogram of commodities.
To a question, Baloch said that temporary schools would be opened in the IDPs’ camps if the operation got prolonged.
Baloch, who had served as governor Balochistan in Musharraf government, said the war on terror was imposed on Pakistan because the government at that time had not sustained the pressure of international powers.
To a question he said the government would appeal to the international community for help when the process of rehabilitation of IDPs in their native areas would start, adding at present the government was able to look after the displaced people on its own.
He informed that Rs 1 billion were given to Pakistan Army in Bannu for providing various facilities to the IDPs while 60,000 metric tons of wheat was given for distribution among IDPs.
The minister said that federal government was also providing cash grant to each family of IDPs including Rs 12,000 per month as subsistence allowance, Rs 5,000 one time for non-food items and Rs 20,000 one time as Ramazan package.
He said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government was providing cash grants including Rs 3,000 per month as house rent allowance and Rs 5,000 one time as Ramazan package respectively. Baloch said that Punjab government was providing a monthly cash grant of Rs 7,000 to each family.
He said the IDPs opting to go to the Bakakhel camp were provided with tents as shelter, cooked food and medical facilities, adding that a total of 10 distribution points were established out of which six were in Bannu, two in Dera Ismail Khan and two in Lakki Marwat.