KARACHI, Sept 18 At least 200,000 people of Dera Bugti and Kohlu districts displaced from their hometowns in the wake of a military operation in Balochistan are facing severe hardship as the areas bordering Sindh and Punjab where they had taken refuge came under water due to the devastating floods.
The internally displaced persons (IDPs) of Balochistan had left their homeland during the Musharraf era. Despite promises by the president and the prime minister so far none of the IDPs were resettled in their hometowns.
According to a report of Baloch Unity Conference (BUC), despite the assurance of authorities the issue of IDPs settlement yet to be resolved and the affected people of these boarding areas were not being treated as other flood-hit people.
The report stated that around 185,000 people migrated from Dera Bugti in March 2005 following the military action. A number of people from Kohlu district had also left their homes. The IDPs took shelters in the border areas of Sindh and Punjab and still deprived of basic needs of life.
Quoting the statements of IDPs, the BUC stated that the IDPs of the Dera Bugti, Sui, Kholu, Kahn districts and other areas were shifted to different cities and towns of Sindh and Pubjab. As many as 25,000 people were shifted to Tehsil Debiji in Punjab alone.
It is pertinent to mention that despite tall claims of the Balochistan government, the authorities could not even gather the data of their own people displaced due to the military operation.
Thousands of IDPs, particularly children, were suffering from with various diseases including, hepatitis B, C, malaria, pneumonia, etc. Several newborn babies died due to a lack of food and proper medical facilities.
The BUC strongly criticised the federal and provincial governments and said that the authorities did nothing to resettle and rehabilitate the displaced people.
It claimed that the media and the non-governmental organisations were not allowed by the government to visit to the Bugti and Marri dominated affected areas to know facts.
According to a report issued by the United Nations offices in Islamabad, around 84,000 people have been displaced from Dera Bugti alone, the hometown of the slain Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti who was killed by the Army in August 2006. The report had also mentioned that around 26,000 women and 33,000 children were in a very bad nutrition status.
It had revealed that the people had displaced when tension mounted in the aftermath of a military operation launched by forces against the alleged rebellions and miscreants attacking national gas and oil installations besides resisting the setting up of the military cantonments in their areas.
The UN report says the mass exodus had already made the situation serious with the onset of winter, making the authorities to seek the help of the UN to avert the nutrition crisis among the displaced and a majority of them now residing in Quetta, Naseerabad and Jaffarabad districts of the province.