Around 780 internally displaced persons’ (IDPs) families are set to return to South Waziristan.
South Waziristan Political Agent Shahidullah Khan confirmed that the repatriation would take place from September 24 to 26.
Hamidullah Khattak, South Waziristan Assistant Political Officer, told a jirga of Mehsud elders that each IDP family would be provided free transportation to go home. Upon their arrival, they are also to be given food supplies for six months and Rs25,000. “Joint efforts between the political administration of South Waziristan and the army will make this a success,” Khattak said.
Two transit camps at Ratha Kulachi cricket stadium and Kur Qila in Tank will be set up to repatriate the IDPs. Khattak assured the jirga that the writ of the government had been established and that the families of the IDPs would be safe. He added that they were making efforts to provide clean drinking water and making schools and health centres functional in the areas where the IDPs would return.
According to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) Disaster Management Authority (FDMA), 9,295 IDP families have returned to their homes in Ladha and Sarwakai sub-divisions of South Waziristan since Operation Rah-e-Nijat was launched in 2009.
JUI-F hails the tribal people
Addressing a jirga at his residence in Shor Kot, DI Khan Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) chief, Fazlur Rehman, said that the tribal people were equal citizens of Pakistan.
Two parliamentarians from South Waziristan, Maulana Abdul Malik and Senator Salah Shah, and other JUI leaders were also present.
The tribal people are suffering due to the ongoing operation in their region, he told the Jirga. The jirga passed a resolution opposing any military action in North Waziristan, stating that it was against Pakistan’s interest. Rehman said that the JUI-F has formed a representative jirga of tribal elders and Ulemas and the party will visit the tribal areas from September 25.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2012.
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