IDPs renew demand for end to operation

Published September 9, 2014
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) chant slogans in favor of their demands during protest demonstration.— Photo by PPI
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) chant slogans in favor of their demands during protest demonstration.— Photo by PPI

PESHAWAR: Internally displaced persons from North Waziristan Agency on Monday demanded the immediate end to a military operation in their tribal area saying this will help them return to their homes to pick up the threads of life.

PTI, Fata leader Dr Bashir Ahmad Khan, who led IDPs, told reporters here that tribesmen had badly suffered since the military operation was launched in North Waziristan around three months ago.

He said IDPs desperately needed basic facilities and food whether they lived in camps or rented houses.

Dr Bashir said the best option for the relief of IDPs was the immediate end to military operation in their area for their early rehabilitation.

He complained about lack of educational and health facilities in the camps for displaced families.

The PTI leader said the army claimed most of the restive areas in North Waziristan had been cleared from terrorists, so it was time that their residents be allowed to return to their hometowns.

“The army insists around 80 percent of North Waziristan Agency has been purged of militants and that its troops have consolidated their position in the region. In this light, we demand that the government make arrangements for early repatriation of the people to the tribal agency,” he said.

Dr Bashir aid around 0.1 million people, including women, children and the elderly, had fled North Waziristan due to military operation against militants but the government failed to make arrangements for their relief.

He said food distribution among IDPs had been suspended for one month.

He also complained the quality of the food saying it’s very poor.

The PTI leader said the federal government should fulfil its responsibility and provide IDPs with food and other essential items. He said non-registration by the relevant authorities had stressed out scores of IDPs, who lacked food and other necessary items.

Dr Bashir urged the government to give all displaced North Waziristan tribesmen the status of IDPs saying this will entitle them to food and other items.

He also complained about the baton-charging of IDPs at food distribution points saying the act was highly insulting and provocative insulting.

The PTI leader said the people had left their homes in the best interests of the country but the government was unfair to them.

He said tribesmen were patriotic citizens of the county and therefore, the government should care for them.

Dr Bashir demanded payment Rs50,000 to all displaced families on monthly basis besides provision of food and other necessary items until their repatriation.

“We all are concerned about our properties, including houses, shops and fields, under the current circumstances and therefore, the government should ensure our early repatriation,” he said.

Published in Dawn, September 09th, 2014

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