LAHORE -  Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said the government and people of Punjab were with their displaced brethren of North Waziristan in this moment of trial and would provide all out help for their rehabilitation.

Addressing the IDPs in Bannu on Monday, he said the Punjab government has set up Chief Minister’s Relief Fund with Rs500 million and the philanthropists and people of Punjab are donating generously helping in this connection. He said that billions of rupees would be provided to help out the distressed people through the fund. He said the Punjab government would also set up a hospital, technical institute and girls’ college would also be set up in North Waziristan. He said the Punjab government has started the process of providing cash assistance under which Rs7,000 are being given to each displaced family.

Shahbaz said the whole nation is with their displaced brethren who left their homes for the country’s survival. He said he has brought for them a message of love and goodwill from the people of Punjab. He said that souls of the Pakistan Movement martyrs would be distressed at the situation prevailing in the country and would be asking whether this was the country envisioned by Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal. However, terrorism is not the destiny of Pakistan and will soon be uprooted as Sri Lanka and other countries have done in the recent history, he said. He said the brave forces are engaged in a war to root out terrorists who had deprived the country of peace and tranquillity.

The CM said the tribal people always rendered sacrifices for the creation and stability of the country, and the founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam had also acknowledged this fact. He said the nation is paying tributes to the courageous officers and jawans of the armed forces for their sacrifices. He said that Pak Army is not only fighting against terrorists but also playing a laudable role for the rehabilitation of the affectees.

Shahbaz said, “I give more importance to the war against terrorism than that of 1965 as today Pakistani forces are fighting for the country’s survival and engaged in a war against such terrorists who wanted to impose their specific ideology at the gunpoint.” He said that enemies of Pakistan had paralysed the country’s social fabric. He said the whole nation is praying for the armed forces’ success in operation Zarb-e-Azb. He expressed his belief that the sacrifices of martyrs would not go waste and the country would again become a haven of peace.

The CM further said that provision of education, health and other facilities is essential for the poor and backward people to save them from being misled.

He said that after a successful operation in Swat, a number of positive measures were taken for socio-economic uplift of the people. In response to demands of the IDPs, Shahbaz assured that he would talk to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for reducing loadshedding in Bannu.

Earlier, KP Governor Mehtab Abbasi in his address said that Punjab is the first province that set up a relief fund for the IDPs.

Shahbaz was accorded a warm welcome on his arrival at the Brigade Headquarters Bannu. General Officer Commanding Maj. Gen. Akhtar Rao and other army officers received the CM. The GOC, while giving a briefing regarding relief and rehabilitation of the IDPs, welcomed the CM on behalf of Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif. He lauded the services of the CM Shahbaz and Punjab government for the displaced persons.