PESHAWAR: Around 1,500 families have begun fleeing the Shalobar area of Khyber Agency, following final directives of the Frontier Corps and political agent on Monday.
The residents have been told to move to Peshawar and the Jalozai Camp.
The Shalobar tribe has been given 48 hours to leave the area where a military operation against militants has been launched.
“The area has already been notified as a conflict zone,” Khyber Agency Assistant Political Agent Bakhtiyar Mohmand told The Express Tribune, speaking about safe havens of criminals and terrorists in Bara sub-division.
Mohmand said that displaced families had also registered themselves with the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) in Jalozai Camp.
A senior official of the political administration Ghulam Farooq said that Shalobar area had become a sanctuary for militants where they had established a parallel administration to the political administration. “The operation will continue until the ouster of militants.”
He said that they had provided 10 buses for displaced people’s transportation and polio vaccination points at different places of Batta Tahal and Jalozai Camp.
Meanwhile, women and children were seen boarding tractor trolleys, pickups, trucks and donkey carts along with their belongings to reach Peshawar from where they will move on to Jalozai Camp.
Saqib Afridi, a local journalist, said that people were facing difficulties owing to lack of transport and narrow, muddy and unpaved streets from Sango to main Bara Road.
On the other hand, the paramilitary Frontier Constabulary force has established checkpoints in the area, leading to massive traffic jams.
“We have been waiting here for five hours and still don’t know if we will move forward or not,” Khan Bahadar, who was moving with his family, said. He told The Express Tribune that they had left their valuables and other essential items at home.
Other displaced people also criticised the political administration for ordering them to vacate their homes.
“The situation is normal in Shalobar. The administration has deliberately put innocent people in trouble,” said Sanobar Khan from Batta Tahal Bazaar.
Khiyal Shah said he had to sell off his cow at a nominal price in order to have enough money to rent a vehicle to move. “I sold my cow for Rs15,000 while its price under normal circumstances would be Rs35,000 to Rs40,000.” He said that many people had sold precious items and valuable goods for cheap as they had no other option.