Repatriation of Bara IDPs gets underway

Published March 21, 2015
Security personnel check ID card of a man returning to Akkakhel Bara area on Friday. — Photo by Abdul Majeed Goraya
Security personnel check ID card of a man returning to Akkakhel Bara area on Friday. — Photo by Abdul Majeed Goraya

BARA: As many as 245 displaced families of Akkakhel tribe left for home in Bara as the first phase of the repatriation of internally displaced persons of the subdivision began on Friday.

The Khyber Agency political administration along with the Fata Disaster Management Authority and two mobile phone companies tasked with issuing SIM cards to the returning families established several desks at a registration centre adjacent to the Milward army camp inside Akkakhel area for the purpose.

Initially, the presence of the returning IDPs was thin but their number began to increase in the middle of the day, especially after Friday prayers.

Also read: Repatriation of IDPs big challenge, says governor

The 245 families, which left for home, belong to Maroofkhel sub-tribe of Akkakhel. They had 1,304 members in total.

Head of every returning family was required to furnish full details of family members and the temporary house occupied by them since displacement from Akkakhel.

The given information was later verified at another desk, where the family head was issued a form containing all his particulars.

At the last stage of verification procedure, the two mobile companies issued them SIM cards for receipt of cash.

Absence of women and children was noticeable.

Family heads and tribal elders present on the occasion said it was against tribal customs to bring women along to verification centres.

245 displaced families of Akkakhel tribe leave for home

A separate tent was put up next to the verification point, where verified families were given non-food items, including medicines and household items.

Officials said uncooked food would also be given to all returning families for six months.

Returning IDPs expressed satisfaction at the law and order situation in their area and expressed the hope that the return process would gain momentum in the coming days.

They, however, demanded that the relevant authorities immediately start a survey of all damaged houses in Bara as most families were reluctant to come back as their houses were completely damaged and needed shelters for their families.

Political agent Shahab Ali Shah told reporters that all plain areas of Bara subdivision had been completely cleared of militants, while the return of around 86,000 families to Akkakhel, Kamarkhel, Malakdinkhel and Shalobar would be completed in three phases.

He said every effort would be made to ensure that the entire process is safe, dignified and to the satisfaction of the returning families.

KEYS OF HOUSES GIVEN AWAY: Frontier Corps inspector general Major General Tayyab Azam on Friday gave away keys of newly-built houses to the families of 21 soldiers, who laid down life in the line of duty.

At a ceremony organised at the army camp in Landi Kotal, the IG said the martyred soldiers sacrificed their lives in the defence of their motherland and their sacrifices would be remembered for a long time as they were a valuable asset of the country.

He said the FC had begun constructing houses for the families of soldiers from its own resources and would give the families financial assistance to enable them to sustain themselves after the loss of their loved ones.

The Khyber Agency political administration also gave away Rs500,000 each to the families of soldiers, who laid down life on duty.

DEMON HELD: Hundreds of Kukikhel youths in Jamrud on Friday demonstrated against the Peshawar Development Authority over construction work at a disputed land in the Regi Lalma Housing Scheme.

Beating drums and shouting slogans against the government and Khyber Agency political administration, the protesters later staged a sit-in at the Pump House after marching through the main Jamrud bazaar.

Kukikhel elders Barkat Katiakhel, Said Ghajan Maniakhel, Malak Mustafa and Irfan Khan alleged that the PDA officials had ignored the Peshawar High Court orders about suspension of work at the disputed land to which the Kukikhel tribe had a historic ownership claim.

They said a jirga was formed in light of the Peshawar High Court orders to resolve the dispute but the relevant government officials didn’t provide land record to the jirga members.

The protesters threatened to protest outside the Parliament House in Islamabad on the matter.

Published in Dawn March 21st , 2015

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