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IDPs to march on Islamabad to protest govt ‘apathy’

November 14, 2012

PESHAWAR, Nov 14: The internally displaced persons of Bara plan to march on Islamabad and hold a big protest demonstration at Shahra-i-Dastoor against the government for its failure to end military operation, lift prolonged curfew and provide relief items.

“We will hold an emergency meeting at Jalozai Camp on Sunday (Nov 18) to decide future line of action,” said an IDP Iqbal Afridi, while speaking at a press conference at the press club here on Wednesday.

Flanked by members of the World Food Organisation-sponsored grand jirga at the Jalozai Camp, Mr Iqbal said the IDPs would either forcefully enter their localities by defying the curfew or move to Islamabad for holding protest rallies.

Mr Iqbal, who belongs to Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf, said the dislocated people had been invited to the grand jirga irrespective of their political affiliations in order to take a unified stand for solution to their problems.

He pointed out that supply of water and electricity was next to nil while the PDMA staff had also started exploiting IDPs by blocking ration to people, especially widows and children on different pretexts. “Dead people have been registered in the lists as IDPs but those living in the camps have to face problems in getting food and non-food items,” he alleged. He said food items given to the people were also substandard.

He said the IDPs had been fed up with the existing arrangement in the camp and they wished to return to their localities.

He said it was time the operation ended and the people facilitated with a comprehensive package so that they could start normal life in their areas.