NWFP gets Rs.500 mn for Taliban-displaced refugees

May 6th, 2009 - 12:23 am ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, May 5 (IANS) Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Tuesday approved the immediate grant of Rs.500 million for providing relief to thousands of people displaced by the activities of the Taliban and Al Qaeda along the border with Afghanistan and by the ongoing military operations against the militants in the restive northwest.
On the request of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) government, Gilani also approved a supplementary grant of Rs.8 million for arranging food items on emergency basis for the internally displaced persons (IDPs), APP news agency reported.

More than 400,000 IDPs have fled to NWFP from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

In addition, some 50,000 have been displaced by the military action against the Taliban in the NWFP after the militants violated a controversial peace accord in the area.

These IDPs had fled after the military went into action April 26, initially in NWFP’s Lower Dir district and then in Buner district.

On Tuesday a provincial minister was quoted as saying 500,000 more people would be evacuated from the Swat district ahead of a possible military operation against the Taliban.

The military action began after the Taliban reneged on an accord to restore peace in Swat, Lower Dir and Buner and four other districts of the NWFP that are collectively known as the Malakand division.

Under the accord, Sharia laws were to be imposed in the Malakand division in return for the Taliban laying down their arms. Instead, the militants moved south from their Swat headquarters and occupied the Buner district that is just 100 km from Islamabad.

Taliban-backed radical cleric Sufi Mohammad, who had brokered the peace accord with the NWFP government suspended the deal after the military operation began.

On Sunday, his spokesman said the accord “stands practically dissolved”.

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