The tribal elders of North Waziristan have informed the displaced tribesmen through a pamphlet that the women should avoid going to the ration point owing to a lack of arrangements for them.
They added that punishments would be meted out to any woman who is found at the ration points.
The elders decided in a jirga held in Bannu that wearing a veil symbolised the culture of Pakhtun tribes and they cannot sacrifice this tradition in a time of crisis.
The tribal elders warned the Wazir and Dawar women in Bannu to refrain from visiting ration points.
According to the elders, it is humiliating for tribesmen to allow their women to go to the ration point with strangers to collect food items. This could have been possible only if special arrangement had been made to facilitate women, they added.
The pamphlet reveals that tribal elders will also punish men of families whose women violate the ban.
Karimullah, a tribal elder in the area, stood in front of Bannu Sports Complex and stopped women from going to the ration points.
Meanwhile, another grand jirga of the Utmanzai tribe was also convened in Bannu. The tribal chiefs of Waziristan, including Malik Nasrullah Khan, Pir Aqil Shah and Mulvi Gul Ramzan and other tribesmen attended the jirga.
The elders requested the government to end the operation soon or else the displaced people in Bannu will march to Islamabad to have their grievances addressed.
The government has embroiled them in collecting rations and money from the ration point but completely forgotten about protecting their homes and native areas, they said.
The Utmanzai elders expressed astonishment at the government’s attitude. While it was providing them with aid, they were simultaneously resorting to baton-charge and firing at them. The elders said three displaced persons had been injured in a recent encounter at a ration point.
Mulvi Gul Ramzan said the people of Eidak village in North Waziristan, in some areas of Razman tehsil and Dattakhel area cannot migrate because they told the security forces that their area was clear. However, they are facing severe food and medicine shortages.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2014.
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