Without a home: Displaced people of Dera Bugti demand rehabilitation

Protesters appeal to court to look into their resettlement fund.

Z Ali December 25, 2011

HYDERABAD: Over a 100 people belonging to Dera Bugti, who were displaced during the military operation in 2005, gathered in front of the Hyderabad press club on Saturday to appeal to the Supreme Court to take notice of the expenditure of Rs1 billion allocated for their rehabilitation.

The parliament approved the allocation of Rs1 billion under Aghaz-Huqooq-Balochistan Package, in 2009, for the rehabilitation of the people who were displaced during the army operation in Dera Bugti. A meeting of the federal cabinet in November this year was told that 85 per cent of the package had been implemented.

The protesters said that they migrated to the province with their families from Dera Bugti in 2005 and 2006. Haji Mir, from the Rana Zai Bugti sub-tribe, estimated that around 80,000 people emigrated from Dera Bugti and settled in Sindh. Others estimate the number to be around 120,000 people. A Behram Notkani Bugti claimed that Jamshoro alone hosted between 30,000 and 35,000 migrants, while the rest were scattered in Sanghar, Ghotki, Rohri and Karachi.

The people live in temporary shelters around the Kirthar mountain range in Jamshoro district where many live by crushing stone to make a living. All they demanded was to return to their homeland.

After Nawab Akbar Bugti was killed by the law enforcement agencies, his three grandsons fought among themselves for the chieftainship of the tribe. Aali Bugti held the reins from the end of 2009 till the beginning of 2011 when Ghulam Qadir Mesuri Bugti took over the leadership of tribe.

The protesters said that many of them returned to their homes in 2009 but could not stay there after Ghulam Qadir Masuri, became the chief of the tribe. They blame him for their current displacement because of tribal rivalry. Nawab Akbar Bugti was from Kalpar tribe while Ghulam Qadir is from the Mesuri tribe.

“The money is being given to those sardars who expelled us from our homes and snatched our livelihood in the thick of the military operation,” exclaimed Haji Mir.

The protesters claimed that the henchmen of Ghulam Mesuri burnt their houses, occupied their lands and took away their livestock after he took over as the tribal chief.

“We have been living like aliens in the areas where we sought refuge,” said Peerak Nusani Bugti, referring to Sindh. “The people do not like our presence and often create problems.” Shahu Rana Zai Bugti said, “I used to grow maize in summer and wheat in winter on a small piece of land in my Maki Nala village. My only wish is to start my life again at my birthplace.”

Published in The Express Tribune, December 26th, 2011.


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