LAHORE - Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that all-out help will be extended to Pakhtun families of North Waziristan, who have been displaced in the war on terrorism, and will not be left alone in the hour of need.
The CM said the Punjab government had decided to provide cash amounts to IDPs and all arrangements had been completed in this regard. The chief minister announced to launch a vigorous fund-raising campaign for the IDPs and said helping the distressed Pakhtun people was a national, religious and moral obligation. He said the government and the people of Punjab would not rest till complete rehabilitation of the displaced Pakhtun people.
He was presiding over a meeting of the steering committee set up for the IDPs. The meeting reviewed the process of provision of financial assistance to the displaced persons of North Waziristan.
The chief minister said assistance to the North Waziristan victims was worship, so every member of the society should play his role in this noble cause. He stated the Punjab government had already sent 70 trucks carrying relief items for the displaced persons. He reiterated that Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for IDPs had also been set up and the Punjab government had deposited Rs 500 million while the PML-N legislators had donated their one-month salary to this fund.
Shahbaz Sharif said philanthropists and well-off people should donate generously to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, adding every penny of their donations would reach the deserving persons. The chief minister also gave approval to the launch of a vigorous fund-raising campaign for the IDPs and opined overseas Pakistanis, industrialists, traders and chambers of commerce and industry should be contacted for this purpose.
The CM constituted a committee, headed by MPA Manshaullah Butt, for contacting overseas Pakistanis and said the committee should work hard for collecting maximum funds for the IDPs.
Meanwhile, PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz Sharif said all-out efforts were being made to raise funds for IDPs in 36 districts of Punjab and a target of collection of Rs one billion had been set in the first phase.
Provincial Education Minister Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan said Shahbaz Sharif’s Volunteer Force for IDPs had been constituted while fund-raising campaign was continuing in all educational institutions of the province. The presidents of various chambers of commerce and industry assured the CM of helping Pakhtun IDPs of North Waziristan generously.
The meeting was told that matters had been settled between the Bank of Punjab, Zong and PDMA for the distribution of cash amounts among the IDPs. Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, provincial ministers, Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman, Ch Muhammad Shafiq, Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan, Adviser Khawaja Ahmad Hassaan, legislators, the chief secretary, Board of Revenue senior member, secretaries of different departments, presidents of chambers of commerce and industry of Lahore, Faisalabad and Sialkot and others attended the meeting.
BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION TEAM CALLS ON CM: A delegation, led by acting deputy head of Mission of British High Commission Ms Susan Hyland, met Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and discussed with him relations between Pakistan and Britain and mutual cooperation in different sectors.
The chief minister said there were deep-rooted friendly and trade relations between Pakistan and Britain. He said Britain was a major trade partner of Pakistan and its cooperation in health, education and other sectors of social development was commendable. He further said thousands of youth had been made skilled under Skills Development Programme with the collaboration of British Department for International Development (DFID). The CM was of the view that the scope of Skills Development Programme was being extended to the whole province. He averred a massive programme was also being started with the cooperation of DFID for the uplift of health sector. He maintained Schools Reforms Programme, with the cooperation of DFID, has also yielded positive results.