Nawaz gives nod to initiate rehabilitation of IDPs

Updated December 09, 2014

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Tribesmen, fleeing from a military operation in North Waziristan tribal agency, arrive in Bannu district. — AFP/File
Tribesmen, fleeing from a military operation in North Waziristan tribal agency, arrive in Bannu district. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday gave go ahead to initiate rehabilitation of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from northwestern tribal areas once those are completely cleared of terrorists.

The decision was taken during a high level security meeting chaired by the premier in the wake of the successful completion of targeted operation in Fata.

The meeting was attended by Army Chief General Raheel Sharif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan, Minister for SAFRON Gen Qadir Baloch, and PM’s advisors Sartaj Aziz and Tariq Fatemi.

Also read: Governor promises early repatriation of IDPs

Thousands of families have flocked to refugee camps in Bannu since June after the Pakistan Army launched Operation Zarb-i-Azb to eliminate Pakistani Taliban militants from their stronghold in North Waziristan tribal region.

Later in October, Pakistan's military launched the operation ‘Khyber-1’ with air strikes against Lashkar-i-Islam (LI) hideouts in Khyber Agency under the Mangal Bagh-led group’s control in Tirah and Bara.

The operations, involving air strikes, tanks and heavy artillery, have forced a mass exodus from the region and have left hundreds of thousands homeless.

Related: Blast targeting security forces injures two in Bannu

Pakistan Army’s Director General Military Operation (DGMO) Major-Gen Amir Riaz, during today's meeting, gave a detailed presentation on the prevailing situation.

A comprehensive strategy for the rehabilitation of IDPs and reconstruction in the military operation-hit areas was presented and reviewed.

Prime Minister Sharif reiterated that IDPs have given great sacrifices for the stability of Pakistan and the state will look after their needs.

“We will reconstruct a better area for IDPs when they return,” he said.

Operation Zarb-i-Azb has inflicted fatal blow to the terrorists, said PM Nawaz Sharif, adding that Pakistani armed forces have given exemplary sacrifices during the operation.