People displaced from Bara by the military operation in Khyber Agency threatened to hold a sit-in outside the Governor House if electricity is not restored to Jalozai camp within four days.
Holding banners inscribed with demands for the early restoration of power, dozens of angered displaced people gathered at Sher Shah Suri Road outside Peshawar Press Club on Thursday. They shouted slogans against the federal government, Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch, K-P governor and FATA Disaster Management Authority (FDMA).
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (Fata) chapter organiser Haji Iqbal Afridi led the demonstrators. Talking to journalists, he said tribesmen had rendered sacrifices for the sake of peace and left their homes for camps for internally displaced persons (IDP). He said despite various announcements from the federal government, little had been done to help them.
“Thousands [from Khyber Agency] have become displaced people and are seeking makeshift shelter in different parts of the province. However, the federal government has not provided them with any substantial assistance,” Afridi claimed. “IDPs are facing difficulties in the registration process and the food ration is substandard, as are the tents provided to them.”
He pointed out only the people of Fata were turned into “displaced people” and it was just tribesmen who had fallen victim to drone attacks.
He added Jalozai IDPs remain deprived of electricity and water facilities since two months, yet the federal government took no interest in resolving the issue. Afridi reiterated if the demands of displaced people were not met within four days, thousands of tribesmen, including students, would protest outside Governor House.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2015.