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KOHAT: National and international rehabilitation teams have started moving to Orakzai Agency after completion of the third and final phase of the repatriation of total 37,969 individuals to their respective tribal regions on Saturday.

The resettlement of approximately 18,000 families would be undertaken jointly by the UNHCR, Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP), WFP, other NGOs and the Fata administration. The rehabilitation process would be supervised by the army.

SRSP programme manager Wajid Khan told Dawn that return of the IDPs was initiated early this year which concluded on Saturday with the return of 228 individuals. Each family was paid Rs25,000 for transportation expenses and would be given a total of Rs450,000 for construction of their houses and starting farming.

He said since their coming to Kohat and Hangu in 2009, the IDPs had made permanent abodes in the two districts. He added that 10,452 IDP families had settled in Kohat, while 7,700 in Hangu where two camps had been established for them. In Kohat they lived with relatives or in rented houses whereas food and other items were provided to them at Jarma and Baqizai points by the WFP.

The SRSP’s Wajid Khan said the repatriation was voluntary, adding the government had given them target of sending back 7,700 families in the last phase, out of which, 6,672 families had volunteered to return to their native villages.

Meanwhile, the security forces have reportedly laid siege around the whole Orakzai Agency from all sides to ensure that no terrorist re-entered the region in the guise of IDPs.

Published in Dawn November 20th, 2016