LANDI KOTAL: Displaced families from different parts of Khyber tribal district have taken exception to the announcement by Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) regarding their final registration till December 20 after which it would not shoulder the responsibility of return of internally displaced persons or give them any other assistance.
The FDMA in an ad issued to some local dailies has asked about 1,132 displaced families of Akkakhel, Shalobar, Malakdinkhel, Bar Qambarkhel, Kamarkhel, Sturikhel, Sipah, Adamkhel, Kukikhel and Zakhakhel to approach the registration centre at the Levies centre in Shah Kas before Dec 20 for return to their respective regions.
The authority had further said that all official assistance in terms of cash and six-month food ration would be withdrawn while it would not shoulder the responsibility of return of IDPs after the expiry of Dec 20 deadline.
Kukikhel elders plan to move court against the authority
Reacting sharply to the announcement, MNA from Bara Iqbal Afridi said that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf governments at the centre and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would not tolerate the FDMA to dictate its unilateral terms to the displaced families.
“I will consult both the governments on the issue and make the FDMA accountable for issuing such a threatening ad,” he remarked.
Mr Afridi said that such pressure tactics on behalf of FDMA had already multiplied the woes of returning families and he would take up the issue at every forum, including raising his voice in favour of the IDPs in the National Assembly.
Bazaar Gul, a Shalobar elder, described the announcement as ‘unethical’ and said that timing for the IDPs return was wrong as the region was now in the grip of severe cold. He asked that how would the IDPs return to their homes when over 90 per cent of their houses were damaged while the concerned authorities had not yet conducted any damage assessment survey in the affected regions.
Mr Gul alleged that FDMA was intentionally delaying the return of displaced families in order to usurp funds allocated for the return process. They urged the federal government to probe why the FDMA failed to complete the return process of the displaced families till the end of November as was announced by the authority itself.
Meanwhile, a jirga of Kukikhel elders announced to approach court against the FDMA announcement. of suspending all assistance to IDPs after their failure to register themselves till Dec 20.
Addressing the jirga in Jamrud, Kuikikhel elder Malik Naseer Kukikhel said that nobody could stop them from returning to their ancestral homes in Tirah and Rajgal regions, but they were now unable to go back as most of their houses were not fit for living.
Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2018