Islamabad, July 13 (ANI): Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday said the entire focus of the government will now shift to the rehabilitation of displaced persons and rebuilding of the damaged infrastructure in Malakand Division.
He was addressing a select gathering of international donors, NGOs and civil society who had contributed to the relief of the displaced person in and off camps and who were specially invited to the Presidency to honor them for their efforts and contributions.
Briefing newsmen about the meeting, Spokesperson former Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the President described it is an auspicious occasion as the formal return of the displaced persons back to their homes has started today.
The President said that the beginning of the return journey of the displaced person marked the beginning of the end of one phase; and the start of another.
Zardari said that the issue of rehabilitation of displaced persons was a huge challenge before the nation which should be met through the collective effort of the people, the government and the international community.
Farhatullah Babar quoted the President as saying, "Perhaps never before the world witnessed such large scale displacement in such a short span of time. The fallout was enormous. The challenge was huge."
The President appreciated the huge sacrifices made by the internally displaced persons.
"They were forced to leave their homes, businesses and workplaces. They underwent great hardships but they courageously endured it. Without their patience and endurance it would have been most difficult for us to pursue the fight against the militants," the President said.
"I salute their courage and the sacrifices they have made," The News quoted Zardari, as saying. (ANI)