PASHET (Bajaur): Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mahtab Ahmad Khan on Wednesday said return of internally displaced persons to tribal area including North Waziristan Agency is a matter of few months and the process would be started early next year.“The return and rehabilitation of 1.6 million IDPs is now a matter of months,” he told tribal elders during a function in Pashet, are mote town near Afghan border in Bajaur Agency.

The governor said the rehabilitation of IDP sand reconstruction of damaged infrastructure in Fata required billions of rupees and the federal government had yet to pool funds for it.“The government will manage funds for there habilitation process,” he said, adding that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had issued directives to the relevant agencies in Islamabad on Tuesday to begin preparations for the return process of the displaced persons.

Sardar Mahtab said Zarb-i-Azb and Khyber One operations in North Waziristan and Khyber agencies respectively had entered adecisive phase and that militancy would beer adicated from the tribal region for good.He said tribesmen would see complete peace in their area in coming days.“The ongoing campaign against militants in Fata is not sort of an operation but a full-scalewar and the country has suffered more losses in it than those in 1965 and 1971wars with India,” he said while paying tribute to tribesmen and security forces for rendering sacrifices against militancy.

Says govt to manage funds for rehabilitation

He said relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan had begun the sign of improvement after the recent visit of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to Islamabad.A senior government official told Dawn thatre patriation of IDPs was likely to begin before February next.“The first phase of the IDPs’ return may start within a month,” he said when asked about the tentative plan for the repatriation of displaced families.The governor also addressed a tribal jirga in Khar, the administrative headquarters of Bajaur Agency, and announced Rs1 billion development packages for the most under developed areas of the agency.

Parliamentarians, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Secretary Amjad Ali Khan and addition al chief secretary Azam Khan were also present.The governor said maintaining peace in Fata was the most difficult task and therefore,elders should cooperate with the law-enforcement agencies for it.He said the administration would have to assume its responsibilities after restoration of peace in tribal agencies.“Major challenge for the civil administration in Fata is to sustain peace, which is not possible without the support of the tribal people,”he said.Sardar Mahtab said Bajaur Agency would become international trade route after construction of roads.

He said the Fata civil secretariat would chalk out an integrated approach for Fata development and that was why the on going schemes would be completed very soon.The governor announced Rs10 million for over 7,000 residents of Bajaur, who had maimed in bomb blasts and violence.He approved the establishment of degree colleges in Pasheth and Khar and announced the construction of additional classrooms in schools. Sardar Mahtab also directed the Fata Electric Supply Company to expedite work onthe installation of high-voltage grid station in the area.He later inaugurated an emergency response service unit for Bajaur with bomb disposal squad, ambulance service and fire engines on its disposal.

Published in Dawn, December 11th, 2014