BANNU / TANK: Repatriation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to North Waziristan started on Tuesday.
A caravan of 26 vehicles carrying 219 IDPs belonging to 62 families left Bannu for Spin Wam and Shahmeri in North Waziristan on the first day. Stringent security arrangements were made on the Miramshah road from the Mirzail checkpost to North Waziristan.
Political Agent Atifur Rehman and other government functionaries saw the families off at Mirzail near Bakkakhel IDP camp in Bannu and Maj Gen Jamil Akhtar Rao and other military officers received them at the historical Babul Islam near Kajuri checkpost.
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About 1,200 families had been registered at the sub-camp of the political agent from March 18 to 20. They will return to their homes in Sin Wam, Shamiri, Mirali and Bubali areas in the first phase of repatriation which will continue till April 24.
Besides the Pakistan Army, the political administration and the Fata Disaster Management Authority are facilitating the process.
About one million registered IDPs are living in camps and rented houses in Bannu district.
Officials said that each family had been given Rs25,000 as cash assistance and Rs10,000 as transportation expenses at Mirzail. They said that food ration for six months and a kit containing non-food items would also be given to each household.
Children under five years of age were administered anti-polio vaccines and under 10 measles vaccines.
RETURN OF IDPs TO S. WAZIRISTAN COMPLETE
The 12th phase of IDPs’ return to South Waziristan from Tank was completed on Tuesday with the departure of the last caravan of 720 families for their homes.
A total of 5,122 IDP families were repatriated in this phase which began on March 16.
About 79,000 Mehsud families had to leave their homes when security forces launched the Rah-i-Nijat operation against the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan in the region in June 2009.
Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2015