BANNU: The bodies of two tribesmen who were killed in Sunday night’s firing at the Baka Khel Camp for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) were handed over to their families in North Waziristan Agency on Monday.
Another 11 people who were injured in the incident are still under treatment while the government announced Rs5 million in compensation for the families of the deceased and Rs1.5 million for the injured.
The casualties occurred when forces tried to quell a protest staged by the IDPs of Baka Khel Camp at the Registration check post no 2 over alleged mismanagement at the IDP camps. Subsequently, a curfew was imposed in the camp.
Pakistan Army Brigadier Mukhtiar visited the site after the incident and attended a Jirga in which he condemned the firing and expressed grief over the loss of lives. North Waziristan Political Agent Atifur Rehman, North Waziristan Assistant Political Agent Zahiruddin Babar, FR Bannu APA Jawadullah Mehsud, FDMA leaders and the elders of North Waziristan were also present.
Elders from the Utmanzai tribe claimed there was no power and water supply and other basic necessities available for them at the camp. They added that it was becoming unbearable for them to live in sweltering heat in the small camps. Political authorities and politicians promised to look into their demands.
A massive operation was launched in mid-June last year to purge North Waziristan of Taliban insurgents and their foreign cohorts.
Hundreds of thousands of tribesmen had been evacuated to shelter camps set up in parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. The operation, according to officials, will conclude in the coming months. However, the process of repatriation of the displaced tribesmen has already begun.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2015.