Escaping conflict: Thousands flee Shalobar as military operation intensifies

Published: May 9, 2012

Residents have been directed to move to Peshawar and Jalozai Camp. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

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.

Reader Comments (4)

  • May 9, 2012 - 6:52PM

    History of Loi-Sam, Mamund, Charmang, Ambar, Safi, Baezai, Darra Adam Khel, Kalaya, Dabori, Alisherzai, Hangu, Bakka Khel, Mir Ali, Miranshah, Razmak, Makeen, Laddah, Wana, Jandola being repeated.
    Operations for the sake of operations; for God sake get out of this “War of Terror” or the whole nation will become IDPs. alas :(

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  • Wisal Afridi
    May 9, 2012 - 6:57PM

    Khyber Agency: Dear Asad jani Ghulam Farooq is political tehsildar of Bara not Political Agent

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  • fayazjani
    May 9, 2012 - 8:03PM

    POHTOONZAAR :another crisis of IDP,s unfortunate militancy and reactionary operation effect only innocent people.

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  • Wazir
    May 10, 2012 - 3:44PM

    so yet again..another army offensive will occur..leading to an ever increasing chaotic situation in Jalozai and other areas..the worst aspect here is, provisions are not even being fully catered for the thousands of people living in squalid conditions in Jalozai Camp – Peshawar. what will happen now that more people come..displaced..selling what they could just to transport themselves from the area..which other country allows its own people to become refugees in the last 5 years.the least you could do is safeguard the people who are innocent even if you do uproot them from thier lives.Such a shame..

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