DI KHAN: The process to repatriate displaced families to South Waziristan Agency started on Monday amid protests by journalists against how they were treated during the recent visit of Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra.
The repatriation will continue till May 14. A camp has been established at Khairgai, located 25 kilometres southwest of Tank city.
Officials told The Express Tribune at least 100 families were repatriated to Manzakai, Raghzai and Kat Kai villages on the first day. Around 20 hubs (points) have been set up at the camp for the verification of the displaced families. They added in the first phase, at least 7,348 families will be repatriated to 39 villages of SWA.
Each family was provided Rs25,000 as well as Rs10,000 for transportation and other costs. They were also provided with six months of ration to help them settle in their native villages.
When contacted, a member of a displaced family Haji Muhammad informed The Express Tribune, “Though, I don’t know the condition of my house, I am happy to go back after seven years.” He added, “We faced a difficult time as IDPs and were living in a rented house. Now, I want to [go back].”
On the occasion, SWA APA Muhammad Shoaib told journalists areas where the displaced families are being repatriated have been cleared of terrorists.
He pointed out, “It is a positive development that IDPs are returning.”
Meanwhile, journalists from Ladha Press Club, Jandollah Press Club and Tank Press Club boycotted media coverage. They were protesting “the ill-treatment meted out” to them during the recent visit of the governor.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 12th, 2016.
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