Islamabad: Nearly 600,000 people have been internally displaced in Pakistan as the military operation progressed in North Waziristan, media reported Wednesday.
Claiming that the government was fully prepared to look after the IDPs, Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions retired Lt. Gen. Abdul Qadri Baloch said the government had so far released Pakistani Rs.1.5 billion (about $15 million) for disbursement among 36,392 registered families, Dawn online reported.
The minister appealed to the people to make generous donations for the affected people and said the army has set up 33 points for collection of donation across the country, the report said.
"It is the national duty of every Pakistani, particularly people with means, to open up their pockets for the brethren in need," Baloch was quoted as saying.
Initially, the government is paying Rs.12,000 to family besides ration and other necessary items, Baloch said.
The minister said that from June 18 to June 23 the government registered 450,681 people, of whom 118,753 were men, 142,113 women and 189,815 children.