North Waziristan IDPs to return in two months

Updated Jan 31 2019

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KP government spokesperson says Datakhel area near the Afghan border will be cleared before the repatriation of IDPs. — File photo
KP government spokesperson says Datakhel area near the Afghan border will be cleared before the repatriation of IDPs. — File photo

PESHAWAR: The internally displaced persons will be shifted from Bakakhel Camp to their homes in North Waziristan tribal district within two months, spokesman for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government Ajmal Wazir said on Wednesday.

Addressing a news conference here, the spokesman said Chief Minister Mahmood Khan had directed authorities to address issues of IDPs and ensure provision of basic facilities in the camp.

He acknowledged the shortage of facilities in the camp.

Mr Wazir said security forces would clear Datakhel area near the Afghan border before the repatriation of IDPs to their homes in North Waziristan.

He said the return of IDPs from Bakakhel Camp to their homes would happen within two months.

Govt spokesman says cabinet will meet in a tribal district

The Pakistan Army has been managing the camp set up in the Frontier Region Bannu after the Zarb-i-Azab operation was launched against militants in North Waziristan in June 2014.

Currently, 2,000 displaced families are living in the camp.

The IDPs in the camp have been complaining about shortage of basic needs and restrictions on their movement outside the camp.

In a related development, the military authorities and the disaster management authority for tribal districts jointly organised a guided tour of the Bakakhel Camp for local journalists, added our correspondent.

The journalists were briefed about the facilities provided to IDPs.

Officials rejected reports about the shortage of basic needs in the camp.

Spokesman Ajmal Wazir said for the first time, the provincial cabinet would meet in one of the merged tribal districts on Thursday.

He, however, didn’t disclose the venue of the meeting.

The cabinet will discuss 16 points agenda, including the establishment of sessions courts, courts of senior civil judge in the seven merged tribal districts, and the Culture and Tourism Development Authority Act, 2018.

An official told Dawn that the cabinet would meet at the Khyber Rifles Officers Mess in Landi Kotal area of Khyber district.

He said the location of the meeting had been kept secret for security reasons.

The agenda of the meeting said the venue of the cabinet’s meeting would be communicated telephonically.

The spokesman said the government was ready to hold talks with the Pakhtun Tahafuz Movement to address its grievances.

He said the government favoured negotiations.

Mr Wazir said the government’s top priority was to address the sense of deprivation among the residents of merged districts.

He said Chief Minister Mahmood Khan visited South Waziristan on Tuesday and would soon go to Kurram district, while the ministers were visiting merged districts.

The spokesman said the residents of tribal districts would ‘feel changes’ within two months.

He said the police were working out mechanism for merged districts, while the salaries of Khasadar Force’s personnel would be increased.

Mr Wazir said the federal government had pledged to provide Rs100 billion to merged districts during the current financial year.

He said the chief minister had directed the relevant authorities to address the grievances of Mehsud tribesmen in South Waziristan regarding compensation of damaged houses.

Published in Dawn, January 31st, 2019