PESHAWAR - All North Waziristan Petroleum Association has demanded of the federal government to announce a special compensation package for the petrol pumps owners whose pumps were destroyed during the military operation Zarb-e-Azb in the agency.

Addressing a news conference at Peshawar Press Club on Wednesday, the association President Malik Raqeeb Gul said that a total of 70 petrol pumps in North Waziristan Agency were damaged during the operation in the region. He added that around 66 percent of pumps were partially damaged while 44 percent were completely destroyed. He said that the owners had lost millions of rupees due to damage to expensive machines and filling stations. He also informed that a fuel tank with a capacity of 25,000-litre petrol was fitted while two-tanks with a capacity of 50,000 liter diesel fixed in a filling station. But, the entire fuel tanks worth millions of rupees were left empty on their return to their localities, he added.

Similarly, he said from three to four units were also installed in these pumps, adding that each unit cost is about over Rs1 million in the market. Currently, he said that around 30-32 fuel filling stations, including a new one, are operational in entire North Waziristan Agency. He said that the tribal agency is being faced with severe financial crisis after the military operation in the region. Flanked by the National Youth Organisation central Chairman Mohsin Dawar Advocate, Vice President Malik Rafiuddin, Malik Sanaullah and Malik Asad, he maintained that businesses had completely damaged, while unemployment also increased since the winding up of security forces action in the agency.

Mohsin Dawar further said that the economic stability of tribal people is vital for the terrorism-free and peaceful North Waziristan Agency. He said that no tangible step was taken to support militancy-hit businessmen of the tribal region. He added it was dire need of the hour to extend a special grant for the affected owners of petrol pumps.

Dawar said that survey was initiated for only houses damages in NWA, but there was yet not conduct an assessment of commercial and businesses losses. He said that the owners of petrol pumps also not included in private losses program, initiated by the government in Federally Administered Tribal Areas. He demanded of the federal government to announce special compensation for owners to re-establish their petrol pumps.