Punjab govt aims at forming world’s largest volunteer force to help IDPs

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 12:39:50 by

LAHORE: The Punjab government will form the world’s largest volunteer force to help internally displaced persons (IDPs) of North Waziristan, a meeting chaired by Law Minister Rana Mashhood decided on Wednesday.

Vice-chancellors from public sector universities in Punjab met at the Government College University Lahore and announced that the universities would donate one-day salaries to the Chief Minister’s Fund in order to help IDPs.

The meeting also decided to contact renowned sportsmen, poets, writers and intellectuals associated with the universities and request them to donate their belongings for auction. The money raised from the auction will be spent on the rehabilitation of the displaced persons.

It was decided that the sports board will spearhead all sports-related activities and will also launch a website to coordinate with designated desks of all the universities. Mashhood told the meeting that a documentary made in Bannu will be shown in all cinemas before film screenings. He stated that a meeting with cinema owners will also be called to discuss this.

It was also determined that a committee of VCs will be formed and every university will nominate its representative to coordinate with the volunteer force.

While briefing reporters after the meeting, Mashhood said that IDPs had been forced out of their homes because of terrorists. He added that a team of volunteers comprising of university and school students would arrange different activities to support and generate funds for them.

In order to raise money, national cricketers will participate in cricket matches in Punjab, the law minister stated, adding that “the fee of these matches will be little more than regular matches.”

Mashhood said that IDPs were provided with SIMs through which money would be transferred to them, adding that the Punjab government was monitoring them.

Responding to the questions about Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan’s recent allegations regarding vote-rigging in the 2013 general elections, the minister said that even United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) proved that his claims were baseless and untrue.

“We don’t have an objection to him holding protests; however, his protests are badly timed,” he maintained.

He said that the people of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa were fed up of Imran Khan but Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) would not take any action that could weaken democracy. Mashhood claimed that PTI supporters are also questioning the validity of these protest.

Lahore News Sources -2

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