ISLAMABAD: Tribal people in general and Mehsud tribe of South Waziristan in particular rendered great sacrifices during war on terror, but government failed to ensure their repatriation after nine long years of their displacement. This was said by Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions Lt Gen (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch, on Monday.
He was addressing a ceremony organised by National Testing Service– Pakistan (NTS-Pak), regarding scholarships award for internally displaced Mehsud students of South Waziristan.
The scholarships were announced for talented students, after the military cleared some areas in South Waziristan Agency (SWA).
The minister praised the service, for taking part in nation building process, regarding allocation of Rs10 million for internally displaced persons (IDP) in the agency.
Senators and members National Assembly from SWA and other stakeholders attended the ceremony, apart from NTS-Pak officials.
Baloch further mentioned that tribals offered gigantic services in freedom of Azad Jammu and Kashmir during 1948. “Mehsud tribesmen had a lion share in freedom of Kashmir. It is a huge responsibility, for all of us to share, to educate the displaced kids,” he added.
After 9/11, infrastructure in tribal belt was totally damaged, he said, adding that donors and other stakeholders would be invited to come forward to rebuild Fata region.
The testing service in collaboration with Mehsud Welfare Association (MWA) signed a memorandum of understanding for award of scholarships to children of IDPs.
Senator Saleh Shah appreciated the step taken by the testing service and said that it should be continued.
MNA Jamaluddin said it was a bold initiative and should be sustained in long-term.
NTS-Pak Chief Operating Officer Dr Sher Zada Khan said his organisation was well aware of its social responsibilities towards social and education uplift of society at large.
Keeping in view that education sector in tribal areas was in shambles, the organisation decided to offer scholarships to displaced kids of the area, he added.
MWA Chairman Rehmat Khan Mehsud praised the step and said the main focus of the association was to educate the kids for a better tomorrow.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2015.