IDPs reaching Hangu cause worry

Updated June 25, 2014

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Pakistani soldiers patrol stand guard near a WFP food distribution point in Bannu as Pakistani IDPs from the North Waziristan region wait to receive provisions on June 24, 2014. — Photo by AFP
Pakistani soldiers patrol stand guard near a WFP food distribution point in Bannu as Pakistani IDPs from the North Waziristan region wait to receive provisions on June 24, 2014. — Photo by AFP

KOHAT: More and more internally displaced persons are reaching Hangu from North Waziristan Agency through the Spin Thall route without registration triggering fears militants will go to the adjoining Orakzai Agency under their guise.

A senior Fata Secretariat official said IDPs were entering Hangu and Thall through the Spin Thall route, which had no security checks or registration point.

He said the government had neither set up any screening facility for the displaced people nor had it established any camps to shelter them.

The official said there were fears that militants would flee North Waziristan in the guise of IDPs before crossing into the adjoining Orakzai Agency.

The official said police and intelligence agencies were bound by the law to check those wanting to enter Hangu before accepting their requests.


Official fears militants will go to Orakzai in guise of tribesmen


He said it was difficult for the government to differentiate between militants and common tribesmen.

The route between Hangu and North Waziristan is very short compared to the North Waziristan-Bannu Road but the government has established a camp for IDPs in Bannu only, which is not sufficient in light of the influx of fleeing tribesmen.

No camp has been set up in Lakki Marwat, Kohat and Dera Ismail Khan.

IDPs even complained water was not being provided to them arriving IDPs in Kohat and Hangu.


Read more: IDPs protest food shortage in Bannu


The relevant officials said 880 families had so far been registered in Kohat, while the exercise was underway.

The Lachi police tasked with registering IDPs wanting to stay in Kohat said on paper, they’d registered only six families and that, too, women, who had rented houses in the area.

However, local residents said a large number of tribesmen had penetrated into the local population unregistered.

In Kohat, two points for the registration of IDPs have been established.

Younas, a local official, said IDPs from North Waziristan had been coming in since June 20.

He said displaced persons were being registered in Bilitang near the Indus Highway and at the Kohat Friendship Tunnel by the revenue staff of Kohat district.

The official said the two registration points had been made, especially to register the families going to other parts of the country via Kohat.

He said no camp had been made for IDPs in the area, while compensation was paid to them in Bannu by the disaster management cell.

Published in Dawn, June 25th , 2014