Armed militants of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan stand next to a graffiti which read as "Long Live Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan" at a camp in a Pakistani tribal district. — Photo by AFP
KALAYA/TANK, July 2: The return of thousands of internally displaced persons from Mohammad Khwaja relief camp in Hangu to Chaper Perozkhel area in Orakzai Agency was postponed at the eleventh hour on Tuesday over threats of terrorist attacks.
Fata Disaster Management Authority had made preparations for the return of over 26,000 IDPs to Chaper Perozkhel area from Tuesday (July 2).
The next date for the IDPs’ return will be announced later on, according to the relevant officials.
The political administration and FDMA had joined hands for the rehabilitation of IDPs from the Mohammad Khwaja relief camp in Hangu to Chaper Perozkhel area in Orakzai Agency after the return of normalcy in the region.
Dozens of trucks, pickups and coaches were sent to the camp on Monday evening to take IDPs home.
IDPs had loaded their belongings in vehicles and were all set to leave for their native towns early in the morning when the administration suddenly called off the programme ‘for the time being’ for security reasons.
Officials said suspected militants had sneaked into Chaper Perozkhel area and therefore, acts of sabotage were imminent.
IDPs had vacated their houses and migrated to the relief camp in Hangu three years ago when the military operation launched there.
IDPs, including Hamid, Aitbar Khan, Khan Mohammad and Dilbar, told reporters here that the political administration had taken the action due to non-clearance of the area from militants.
The dejected IDPs expressed concern over the situation and said they had been spending miserable life at the camp for three years.
They wanted their early return to native towns, saying they were sick of life in tents.
Political agent of Orakzai Agency Mohammad Aslam said the decision of postponing the return of IDPs to Chaper Perozkhel had been taken for the time being over security grounds.
He said the announcement of the IDPs’ return would be made soon.
Mr Aslam said security for IDPs was the responsibility of the political administration and it didn’t want to put them in trouble yet again.
IDPS LEAVE FOR SOUTH WAZIRISTAN: Around 1,565 IDP families left the Kor Fort transit camp in Tank on Tuesday for native towns in South Waziristan Agency.
IDPs belong to Shehwar, Jantha Chak Sardek, Kaza Kach, ZeriWam, Nazarkhel, Shewzi, Hangi Walid, Ahmed Wam, Ghazhetkhel, Ghar Wam, and Sagar Ghazi villages.
Brig Mohammad Asghar, political agent Islam Zeb, APA Abdul Jamal Nasir, DPO Mohammad Anwar Kudi and other military and government functionaries were present on the occasion.
The returning IDPs were garlanded and special prayers were offered for peace and development of the region on the occasion.
Mr Zeb said it was the 10th phase of rehabilitation drive and that 10,014 families comprised 46,295 individuals had so far left for hometowns in the last nine rehabilitation phases.
He said the returning IDPs were provided with free transport facility, six-month ration and Rs25,000 cash each.
The PA said with cooperation of Pakistan army, several developmental projects, including the setting up of model villages, a commercial market, complex, chicken and fish farms and educational institutions had been completed in South Waziristan.
On the occasion, the IDPs’ elders thanked the army and the political administration for taking interest in the developments of the tribal region.