Former President Zardari denounces govt attitude towards IDPs as callous

Islamabad July 14, 2014: Co Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party former President Asif Ali Zardari has called upon the government to give up its callous attitude towards the internally displaced persons (IDPs) of North Waziristan stranded in camps in Bannu and gear up the relief and rehabilitation work on a war footing.

The IDPs are our national heroes in the war against terror and neglecting them in this hour of trial is a criminal and callous act that will not be condoned under any circumstance and Spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar quoted the former President as saying in a statement today.

Asif Zardari said that their neglect by the government on the one hand and the reports that some charity organizations of defunct militant groups are secretly engaged in indoctrinating the vulnerable displaced people using the cover of philanthropy is a sure recipe to turn the IDPs into sympathizers of militants and extremists.

This is a grim prospect Pakistan can ill afford, the former President warned.

Recalling the IDP crisis faced by the PPP coalition government in 2009 as a result of action against militants in Swat and the way the crisis was handled and the refugess safely rehabilitated in their homes in a matter of few months the former President said there is no reason why the challenge posed by the displacement of people from NWA cannot be handled.

The PPP Co Chair said that in the wake of horrendous floods and huge displacements caused by it in 2010 the PPP government had invited Secretary General UN ban Ki Moon who launched a global appeal to help the flood victims.
He said that war against terror is a global fight and if the international community is supposed to assist Pakistan in it there is no reason why the international community must not be asked to help in the rehabilitation of the IDPs in accordance with the recognized principles of such assistance.

The government should shed its ego and invite the civil society, the NGOs and indeed mobilise the entire nation to assist in the relief and rehabilitation of IDPs, he said.

Special attention must be paid to the vulnerable groups among the IDPs including women and children, prevention of epidemic and trauma rehabilitation, he said.

The Co Chairman PPP also reiterated his call to the Party rank and file to reach out to the displaced families and provide them relief, the Spokesperson said.

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