Legislators to Discuss IDPs’ Issue

A special meeting of parliamentarians from almost all the political parties and tribal areas will be held here on Thursday to exclusively discuss the issues related to internally displaced persons (IDPs) of North Waziristan.

IDPs

The federal minister and the government’s focal person on the IDPs, retired Lt Gen Abdul Qadir Baloch will apprise the meeting about steps being taken to provide assistance to about 1.5 million IDPs, living in different camps in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa since the launching of Zarb-i-Azb military operation against terrorists in North Waziristan in June. The meeting is being held in the backdrop of widespread criticism against the federal and the KP governments for allegedly ignoring the IDPs, who have become main sufferers of the ongoing political crisis in the country.

PML-N MNA from Bajaur Agency, Shahabuddin Khan, told Dawn that the decision to convene the meeting had been made at last week’s meeting of the business advisory committee of the National Assembly presided over by its Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq. He said the meeting noted that though the IDPs’ issue had been raised by lawmakers in the National Assembly and the Senate from time to time, it had not received the attention it deserved and had been overshadowed by rhetoric. 

Therefore it was decided that the speaker would convene the special meeting to discuss the issue and suggest measures for early rehabilitation of the IDPs after completion of the operation. Arrest of several IDPs after a clash with police at a food distribution point in Bannu last month has highlighted the plight of the IDPs. -dawn