PM announces Rs24 bn package for NWFP -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

PM announces Rs24 bn package for NWFP

By Nisar Mahmood

PESHAWAR: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Friday announced a package of over Rs24 billion for capacity building and strengthening of police and law-enforcement agencies (LEAs) in the NWFP.

Addressing MPAs of the ruling alliance at the Governor’s House here, Gilani stressed the importance of well-equipped, trained and highly motivated LEAs to ensure durable peace and stability in the province after completion of the military operation under way in the tribal belt and Swat.

The package will be utilised for recruiting additional police and LEAs personnel and acquiring sophisticated weapons. The package will be delivered in instalments, each tranche comprising Rs6 billion would be handed over to the NWFP after every six months.

Taking notice of the peculiar socio-economic situation of the province, the prime minister also announced a grant of Rs10 million for every MPA, which would be used for public welfare projects and for mitigating effects of terrorism and militancy in their respective constituencies.

Responding to the issues raised by various MPAs, Gilani remarked the political agent of the South Waziristan Agency had been asked to start the registration process of the IDPs so that immediate and effective relief could be provided to them.

The prime minister also announced the expansion of vocational and professional training network in the NWFP to provide employment opportunities to the youth both at home and abroad.

Recognising the courage and valour of the people of Dir in the fight against extremists, Gilani directed authorities to provide helicopter service for airlifting the injured and the sick from Dir. While saluting the people and the coalition government of the NWFP for rendering unprecedented sacrifices for the protection and integrity of the country, Gilani said miscreants were cowards.

Eulogising the hospitality of the people of the NWFP for hosting 80 per cent of the IDPs, the prime minister said the IDPs and their hosts had offered great sacrifices for the sake of the nation’s future, adding that they were the saviours of the whole nation.

Later, while talking to media persons, the prime minister reiterated the resolve to continue the military operation till complete restoration of the government’s writ in the troubled areas, adding noose was being tightened around the militants.

The military operation had full public support and the law-enforcement agencies would take on those challenging the writ of the government, he said. He said the militant leaders, including Baitullah Mehsud, were carrying head money, some of them had been arrested and many more killed during the operation.

Flanked by NWFP Governor Owais Ahmad Ghani, Chief Minister Amir Haider Hoti, federal ministers Qamar Zaman Kaira, Ahmad Mukhtar and Arbab Muhammad Alamgir, Gilani, in his first-ever press talk in Peshawar after taking over charge as prime minister, Gilani said his government was following a three-pronged strategy of dialogue, deterrence and development.

However, he said despite government’s sincerity, the talks had failed to bear any fruit due to the militants and extremists’ rigid stance and continuous violation of the peace agreement.Appreciating the public, LEAs as well as journalists for courageously facing the militants, he said people of the NWFP showed their traditional hospitality by providing shelter and other assistance to their brethren from the affected areas.

The prime minister said he visited the provincial metropolis to discuss ways and means for relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction in the operation-hit areas.The federal government, he said, had allocated Rs50 billion for the purpose and every effort would be made to ensure better administration, good governance and good life standards in the areas that suffered due to the militancy.

“We have discussed steps to be taken for the welfare of the displaced people and the federal government would extend full support to the provincial authorities for the honourable and early return of the IDPs,” he said.

He said the government wanted to wind up the operation as soon as possible, adding the military action was no solution to problems and the operation in Swat and the Malakand Division had been launched under extreme conditions, when the government writ was challenged there.

The prime minister announced setting up of Rs2 million trust for the families of journalists, who laid down their lives while performing their professional duties. He also announced a grant of Rs1.5 million for the Peshawar Press Club.

About security to journalists, he said, the NWFP chief minister has been directed to ensure security to media persons.About the release of hydel net profit to the province, he said the National Finance Commission would soon resolve the issue amicably. The premier also attended briefings on the law and order situation in the province, reconstruction and rehabilitation plans and the state of military operation in the Malakand Division.

Source: The News