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Imran asks Centre to release Rs5 bn 'health grant' for IDPs

07 July, 2014

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BANNU: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief, Imran Khan, on Sunday asked the federal government to release Rs5 billion health grant for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) from North Waziristan.

Talking to reporters during his visit to Bannu and after meeting the displaced people at the IDP camps, the PTI chairman said that the hospitals in Bannu could not provide proper health facilities to such a large number of people.

"These hospitals have been providing health care to local population and Afghan refugees but with the sudden influx of more than half a million IDPs there is need for more resources for providing the displaced people better health services," he said. He added that emergency had been imposed in all the public sector hospitals in Bannu. However, he maintained that more doctors, staff and medicines were needed.

He said they had been told before the military operation in North Waziristan that around 0.1 million tribesmen would migrate to the settled districts but now 0.75 million IDPs had reached the Bannu district.

Imran asked the government to order investigation into the allegations of provision of substandard flour to the IDPs by the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA). He said that officials of the World Food Programme should also be made accountable for any negligence.

The PTI chairman said that influx of such a large population could create law and order situation, adding that more security personnel were needed to prevent any untoward incident. He asked the government to depute 500 security personnel, especially from the Frontier Constabulary who had earlier performed duty in the area.

"The government should relocate the offices of the political administration of North Waziristan to Bannu district for resolving the problems of the IDPs as they have been facing many problems, including issuance of passports and payment of salaries and pensions," he added.

The PTI chief also asked the Army chief to allow foreign non-governmental organisations to start relief activities for the IDPs. "The current situation demands issuance of no objection certificate to these NGOs forthwith," he argued.

He asked the government to respect the tribespeople's culture and traditions and establish separate Nadra offices for women and also depute female staff at these offices.

The federal government should also direct the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) to minimise the loadshedding duration in Bannu as long as the IDPs stay there. He said that hospitals should be provided uninterrupted powersupply. He said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had opened helpline for donors to provide information about the needs of IDPs. He said the performance of NDMA, PDMA and government would be monitored and strict action would be taken in case of negligence.

He said the Khyber Pakhtunkwa government cannot handle such a large number of IDPs alone. He asked the federal government to provide all kind of support to the provincial government.

"Federal Minister for Safron Abdul Qadir Baloch should have been in Bannu with the IDPs. He did not bother to stay with these people, but my party leaders, including Khyber Pakthukhwa Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Ali Amin Gandapur would stay in Bannu for apprising the party leadership of the situation," he said.

Imran also said that his party lawmaker Ayesha Gulalai would inform the nation through the media about the situation of IDPs.He said the tribal jirga had refused to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his visit to Bannu. "Had he been here today I would have arranged their meeting with him," he claimed.

Imran also announced to celebrate the Eidul Fitr with the displaced people.The PTI chief while talking to the tribal jirga said that he was familiar with the difficulties faced by the IDPs as it is not easy for anyone to leave their house. He said that he and his party were aware of the sufferings of the IDPs and would not leave them alone.

Imran said that if required the provincial government would establish more camps for displaced persons where as the government schools are also open for the IDPs.He said that he didn't know that such a large number of IDPs would leave their homes. He said that 70,000 people have so far left their homes and shifted to downtowns.

Imran Khan inaugurated the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government's complaint cell for IDPs in Bannu, where as he directed Speaker Asad Qaiser to permanently stay at Bannu so that the problems of the IDPs could be solved timely.

"We need 500 FC jawans to ensure the safety of the camps as the police personnel available for protecting the camps are not enough," he added.He said that the provincial government will ask federal government to deploy 500 FC jawans in the camps.

End.

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