PESHAWAR: Nearly 700 families of temporarily displaced persons of North Waziristan returned from Afghanistan to Bakka Khel Camp Bannu.
The families had fled to Afghanistan’s Khost province after the army initiated the military operation Zarb-e-Azb in 2014 to counter terrorism in the region.
According to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) figures around 291,800 individuals had moved to Afghanistan after the operation and had settled in the Gulan Camp in Gurboz district of Afghanistan’s Khost province.
Majority of the areas in North and South Waziristan have been cleared and the repatriation process of TDPs is under way.
According to Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA)’s latest report nearly 700 families – 900 males, 1,220 females, 1,630 children – have reached Baka Khel IDPs Camp in Bannu.
FDMA Assistant Director Fawad Khan told The Express Tribune the Pakistan Army and FDMA have made all arrangement for TDPS to return.
He said that the verification process of these families has started under the supervision of the army and FDMA officials. He said that the return process is under way while more families are expected to return in the coming weeks.
He said that with the support of UN organisations, FDMA has provided tents, blankets, food and other items to the returnees.
He said that after completion of the registration process, FDMA will distribute Rs12,000 to each family per month.
Khan said FDMA had also provided mattresses and clean drinking water to these people.
FDMA official shared that TDPs returning process had started last week while around 200 families of Muhammad Khel and Pai Khel tribes reached in the first batch.
The families who were displaced to Afghanistan belong to different tribes of Waziristan including Muhammad Khel, Pai Khel, Hamzoni, Data Khel and Derpakhel.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 30th, 2017.