MATUN: With the military operation in North Waziristan forcing people to flee their homes, as many as 75,000 Pakistanis have sought shelter in once refuge seeking Afghanistan, the UNHCR said on Wednesday.
"We could only manage to get ourselves out of Miranshah," one man told UNHCR staff, referring to the capital of the mountainous North Waziristan region. "We left all our belongings. The Pakistani government was bombing our villages," he claimed.
In an effort to provide assistance to the IDPs, the World Health Organisation, UNHCR and the World Food Programme have provided tents and basic necessities. Local communities have also provided assistance. However, medical care, clean drinking water and sanitation are in short supply.
Local communities are in desperate need of assistance to continue to provide for the IDPs.
"I would also like to call upon the Afghan government and international community to assist these displaced families," said Wali, a local man who has been hosting four families from Miramshah in his home in Khost province's Matun district.
About 470,000 people have been displaced according to the estimate of the government of Pakistan, out of which several have sought safety in the northern province Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
The Pakistan foreign office spokesperson on Thursday said that the IDPs were Pakistanis and that no help had been sought from other countries for them.