Authorities have rounded up as many as 1,100 internally displaced persons for producing fake Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs) during registration in Bannu.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Friday, focal person of the ministry of states and frontier region, Tariq Hayat Khan, confirmed that 1,100 people were caught using fake CNICs during the registration process and had been handed over to the department concerned for interrogation.
He stated that the registration of IDPs was still under way and so far 0.7 million people had been registered in the camps.
Tariq refuted allegations made by the Afghan authorities claiming that Pakistan was letting IDPs enter Afghanistan. “Why would we push our refugees to Afghanistan when we’ve played host to millions of Afghan refugees over the years?”, he questioned, adding that a few families might have tried to cross the permeable border.
The focal person also dispelled the impression that authorities had not allowed NGOs to work for the IDPs saying that many international organisations as well as local charities including the UN and Bahria Town were assisting the IDPs.
Briefing the media about the ongoing relief operation he said that besides registration, the authorities had also launched a Rapid Need Assessment process to ascertain that urgent needs of the IDPs are met. “After this exercise, we will further take steps to meet their other requirements”, Tariq said.
Giving details of the displaced persons he said that so far more than 85,000 families consisting of over 950,000 individuals have been displaced and moved to adjoining districts but predominantly Bannu, where more than 80 per cent of IDPs have been temporarily settled.
He fpointed out that around 100 kilogrammes of food baskets were distributed among each family along with a cash amount of Rs12,000 which will be distributed each month to meet their daily expenses.
Besides the monthly expenditure every family will be given Rs20,000 each as Eid allowance. Additionally, the Punjab government has announced a monthly subsistence allowance of Rs7,000 for each IDP family. The K-P government has announced Rs3,000 as accommodation allowance per month and Rs5,000 (one time) as relief assistance. The government has also released seven thousand metric tonnes of wheat to the WFO to meet the dietary needs of the displaced persons.
Regarding the health facilities available, Tariq said that the FDMA had deployed four mobile hospitals along with doctors in the camps. Around 85,000 children have been inoculated for polio virus and around 83 doctors and paramedics have been attached to Bannu by Fata secretariat.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2014.