The internally displaced persons (IDPs) from North Waziristan Agency protested outside Peshawar Press Club on Monday, demanding the Centre accelerate their repatriation.
The IDPs demanded that the federal government reconstruct their houses and markets destroyed in operations against militancy.
“The destruction of our markets and homes must be stopped now,” said Shah Zaib, president of Youth of Waziristan, an organisation working for the rights of people in Fata.
“The government must speed up the process to repatriate the IDPs,” he said, adding the IDPs are being forced to live in camps in the severe cold. “Of the 129,000 families, only 15,000 have been repatriated to their homes so far,” he said.
One of the protesters said Waziristan has been badly affected by the war on militancy. “It is the duty of the federal government to reconstruct our homes and markets and rehabilitate us,” he said. “The IDPs should not be left to rot in IDP camps.”
Asadullah, another protester, said the future of over 80,000 students is at stake as all the educational institutions are either closed or damaged. “Almost all the youth of Fata are unemployed and can easily be lured towards militancy,” Asadullah said. He added the government must make efforts to provide education and employment opportunities to the youth. “If the government wants to end militancy, they must provide education to the youth,” Asadullah added.
The protesters complained they have not received the compensation promised by the federal government as yet.
According to data provided by FDMA, about 32, 901 registered IDPs have been repatriated to their hometowns. Over 4,577 unregistered IDPs have also returned.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 19th, 2016.
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