PESHAWAR: President Asif Ali Zardari Saturday announced huge compensation package of Rs.280 million for those killed and wounded in the tribal areas due to militants’ attacks and vowed to upkeep the promises made by the late Premier Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto with the valiant tribesmen.
Addressing a grand tribal Jirga comprising all the seven tribal agencies and six frontier regions here at Darbar Hall of Governor House, the President said, he was not oblivious to the problems facing the tribal people and was working from day one to mitigate their sufferings.
To achieve the goals of uplift in the hitherto neglected tribal areas, President announced immediate increase in the development outlay of the FATA by Rs.3 billion for the current fiscal taking it to Rs.11 billion from Rs.8 billion.
He also announced to double the development program for FATA from the present ADP of Rs.8 billion to Rs.16 billion during the next two years.
“I am myself a tribesman and know what misery is. I have passed through all such traumas for eleven years in the jail despite the fact I had the keys of the jail with me but I never compromised on principles and never succumbed to a dictator”, he said.
Zardari urged tribesmen to demonstrate patience and tolerance in their ranks and files and avoid getting involved in violent acts which will benefit the opponents.
“We will advance our arguments with the world community, the UNO with logic and convinced them that drone attacks are counter productive and the day was not far away when these attacks will be stopped.” He said a new thinking was being developed in the US administration about the tribal regions of Pakistan.
The President said, the government of Pakistan would plead its case about the attacks on our soils with intellect and convinced them that both sides were at loss. The US was withdrawing forces from Iraq which was a big development in the region and set a new direction among their think tanks.
He agreed that in drone attacks, scores of innocent people were killed.
He said that the world community has now started realizing our stance and the new administration in the USA has close contacts with the present government in Pakistan.
He said that the USA has appointed its special envoy for the region to settle the problems in the area with mutual consultation and understanding amongst the stakeholders. It will give us an opportunity to present our case in most effective manner, the President said.
He reiterated that we will emerge victorious in fighting out militancy with full might and making the country strong and stable among comity of nations. We will not let the nation down in this regard, Zardari pledged.
Governor NWFP Owais Ahmed Ghani in his brief address on the occasion upholds the sacrifices rendered by the tribesmen.-SANA