PESHAWAR: Some 94 per cent of people displaced due to militancy and military operation in different agencies of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) have returned to their homes.
“Only 6 per cent of the people – mostly belonging to South and North Waziristan agencies – are yet to resettle due to security concerns or unavailability of facilities,” said Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) Director General Khalid Khan on Wednesday.
Speaking after a ceremony held with regard to the signing of a memorandum of understating (MoU) between FDMA and UNHCR at the Fata Secretariat here, Khalid said most of Pakistan’s internally displaced people (IDPs) had returned to their homes in tribal areas.
“Around 3, 50,000 verified and 2,00,000 unverified families of tribal areas have returned to their areas, while 49,000 families of Data Khel and adjacent areas are yet to return due to security situation and unavailability of basic facilities,” he said.
He said return of the displaced tribesmen from Afghanistan had also started through Ghulam Khan checkpost, adding that these people were accommodated in Baka Khel Camp.
The FDMA official admitted that the government had set April 30 as deadline for safe return of all displaced people but due to some security and other reason complete return of people was not possible.
UNHCR Representative in Pakistan Indrika Ratwatte and representatives from security forces and Fata Secretariat were also present on the occasion.
The UNHCR handed over 4,000 tents, 8,000 plastic sheets and 4,000 core relief items kits to the FDMA to support the government efforts to facilitate return of the IDPS to South and North Waziristan.
“The UNHCR always stood by the people of Pakistan in times of crisis,” Ratwatte said, adding that those going back had been displaced for years and their lives had been severely disrupted.
He said the much-needed shelter materials would provide some relief to those in dire need of shelter.
Ratwatte said the UNHCR supported the Pakistani communities throughout the period from displacement to return. From 2010 to 2016, the UNHCR provided $200 million to the IDPs operations in Pakistan, primarily for shelter and non- food items, camp coordination and camp management and protection.
In 2016, the UNHCR assisted the displacement population and 40,000 returnee families with emergency shelters and core relief items in Khyber, Kurrum, Orakzai and North and South Waziristan agencies of Fata.