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PESHAWAR: The internally displaced persons from Mehrban Kallay area of Tirah valley have asked the federal government to announce a compensation package for them ahead of repatriation to reconstruct shops and houses.

They warned that they won’t return to the region and would block the Peshawar-Torkham Road if the demand wasn’t met by June 25.

Elder Hafiz Noorul Amin Haqqani told reporters at the Peshawar Press Club on Thursday that at least 10,000 people of Mehrban Kallay had vacated their houses in 2012 due to the military operation against terrorists but they continued to live as IDPs without basic facilities.

Accompanied by other elders, including Haji Gul Badshah and Haji Farhad, he said severe bombardments had destroyed the bazaar of his area besides houses, four timber godowns, a mosque and a seminary, while irrigation channels were also damaged.

Threaten to block Peshawar-Torkham Road

Mr Haqqani said the security forces had cleared Tirah valley of terrorists, while the government had announced the return of IDPs to their respective native towns in Tirah valley of Khyber Agency from June 25.

He asked the government to announce compensation for the collateral damages caused to the IDPs before repatriating them.

The elder also demanded education, healthcare, water and other amenities in the region saying the return of displaced persons would be of no use without facilities.

He asked the officials concerned to take locals on board during the damage assessment in Tirah valley and warned they won’t accept any survey conducted through the ‘irrelevant’ people.

Elder Badshah Gul said a mechanism should be evolved to conduct proper damage assessment in Tirah valley, especially in Mehrban area.

He said the government had provided compensation to IDPs of Miramshah area of North Waziristan region prior to their repatriation and so, the same should happen to IDPs from other areas as well.

The elder urged Pakistan Army chief, FC inspector general, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor, Peshawar corps commander, and KP chief secretary to ensure effective payment of compensation to the militancy-affected people of Mehrban area like other tribal regions.

He warned that if those demands weren’t met by the government before June 25, the IDPs won’t return to their respective areas and would block the Peshawar-Torkham Road in protest.

Published in Dawn, June 22nd, 2018