DERA ISMAIL KHAN: A jirga was convened on Monday to discuss the internally displaced Mehsud tribesmen’s demand for provision of ration till June 20.
The jirga, comprising elders of the tribe, met Member National Assembly Maulana Jamalud Din Mehsud and Senator Saleh Shah Mehsud at the Political Agent Compound Tank.
The 7,000 uprooted families, whose ration was halted by the World Food Program in May 2013, are not being provided food items. An official of the FATA Disaster Management Authority said that the authority can no longer provide ration to them as they belong to those areas of South Waziristan which have been cleared by security officers.
He further said the IDPs were told to move back to their homes but they remained in Tank, DI Khan.
“I don’t feel it is safe for us to return to my native area so I live in DI Khan. I have a ration card in the name of my mother for our 10- member family but was not provided with any food supply at Zafarabad Ration Distribution Centre. The officials said I can’t get it because I belong to safer areas of South Waziristan,” Syed Ahmad, a resident of Sarwakai, South Waziristan told The Express Tribune.
Another internally displaced persons (IDP) from Sararogha area of South Waziristan said that he was also denied ration for the same reason despite the fact that he waited in queues in scorching heat.
Both officials, belonging to the JUI-(F), assured the jirga members that the matter will be taken to the senior officials of the government and provision of relief items will be resumed soon.
A member of the jirga, Sherpao Mehsud Advocate said that they have also conveyed their reservations to the political administration officials of South Waziristan and have expressed the hope that they will look into their difficulties.
The member added that if their demands are still not met by June 20, they will protest in front of the political administration office of Tank.
Mehsud IDPs from South Waziristan have settled in Tank and DI Khan districts since the Rah-e-Nijat operation that took place in 2009.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 18th, 2013.