ISLAMABAD (INP): Former President and co-chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Asif Ai Zardari has asked the party leadership to reach out to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province and taking all possible steps for their assistance in relief and rehabilitation. A large number of tribal families have moved out of North Waziristan due to operation against militant hideouts adding to the already bulging population of IDPs in the province. Official estimates put the figures of registered IDPs at over four lacs with many more still pouring in. In a message to party leadership at centre and all provinces here on Monday, Asif Zardari said that IDPs are our heroes and heroines who are undergoing untold sufferings and miseries in the nation\'s drive against militants and they must not be left alone in their hour of tribulation. Spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the former President directed the provincial President PPP Khanzada Khan to draw up a workable plan in consultation with the Party officials for the rehabilitation of IDPs in the province involving also party chapters in other provinces in providing material assistance in the gigantic task. He said that the PPP co-chairman asked to pay special attention for providing transport, shelter, food and health care besides cash relief to the streams of people pouring out of troubled tribal regions. The Spokesperson said that the former President also directed the Parliamentarians of Party to raise a strong voice in the Parliament for addressing the problems faced by the IDPs and for setting up of Victims\' Rehabilitation Fund for the relief and rehabilitation of the internally displaced persons. He also directed the Party parliamentarians to brief the international community and the diplomats about the humanitarian crisis and the need for international assistance in the relief and rehabilitation of IDPs.
The fight against militants is a global fight and the world community must also fulfill its responsibilities in providing generous assistance for the relief and rehabilitation of the displaced families, he said. Zardari said that besides being a huge humanitarian issue, the IDPs were also a national asset in the fight against militants. \"We must do everything possible to make the displaced persons believe that the sacrifices made by
them in leaving their hearth and homes and living in tented camps in
scorching heat are being recognized and that they are not being abandoned\",
Abandoning the IDPs or mishandling the issue will give handle to the
opponents of the operation to demand an end to the fight against militants,
the former President warned.
The honor that the state and society will give and the extent to which we
mitigate the sufferings of the internally displaced persons is critical to
sustaining the support of the people in the fight against militants the
Spokesperson quoted the former President as saying.
The former President also asked the PPP KP President to keep him regularly
posted with the plans drawn and the assistance rendered to the IDPs.