PESHAWAR: A jirga of Dawar tribe of North Waziristan Agency has demanded of the government to complete the operation Zarb-i-Azb as early as possible to ensure quick rehabilitation of the internally displaced persons.

It also demanded enhancement of the compensation amount and registration of all the remaining displaced persons so they could get the benefits meant for the affected families.

The jirga held at Bagh-i-Naran at Hayatabad Township here on Saturday was attended among others by Malik Ahmed Saeed Dawar, Malik Abdul Jabbar Dawar, Ashrafullah Dawar, Mohammad Sher Dawar, Habibullah Dawar and Malik Gul Habib Dawar.

Referring to the government’s claim about clearance of different areas of Mir Ali and Miramshah, the elders said that they should be allowed to return to their homes so they could start rebuilding their destroyed houses and workplaces.

They said that the compensation for destroyed and damaged buildings was next to nil, and asked the government to enhance the amount, saying that the financial assistance should be disbursed through the local tribal elders instead of political administration.

“We oppose distribution of relief items and compensation among the IDPs through the political agent and assistant political agents,” they demanded.

The speakers pointed out that many of the displaced persons were yet to be registered as IDPs and thus they had got no ration and other relief items so far. The government, they said should speed up the process of registration with provision of relief items to all the affected families.

Criticising the government for failure to give any kind of timeframe for rehabilitation of IDPs, the jirga said that during the military operation in Malakand Division in 2009 the timeframe had already been announced but the policy for North Waziristan Agency was quite different.

The displaced persons of North Waziristan Agency, they said didn’t know as to when the government would allow them to return to their homes, saying that if the areas were really cleared then they should be allowed to go back.

“In case of delay in rehabilitation the new generation will be unable to get education in camps and financial condition of the people will also worsen because the financial assistance given to them is next to nil,” they feared.

Majority of the affected people, they claimed belonged to the Dawar tribe, but relief items and cash were given to people of other tribes. “We want the government to support the actual affected people,” they demanded.

The elders suggested that the government should conduct survey of the damaged buildings through communication and works department and compensate the people on basis of losses instead of paying lump sum amounts to people.

Published in Dawn, Aug 3rd, 2014

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