Bannu

No rest till you’re home: NWA IDPs unhappy at pace of return

BANNU / HANGU: Even as the second phase of repatriation continues and 157 families were sent back to North Waziristan Agency (NWA) over the weekend, internally displaced persons (IDP) remain unhappy with the pace of return. Tribal elders and political leaders held a protest rally in Bannu, organised by Waziristan Youth, on Monday to pressurise the government into granting their demands.

The participants held placards and marched through various routes in the district to reach and gather at Bannu Press Club eventually. The president of the IDPs committee, Nisar Ali, and other speakers said the government has to increase the pace of the phase-wise repatriation of IDPs.

“The area has been cleared after Operation Zarb-e-Azb and the relevant authorities should start to repatriate at least 5,000 to 10,000 families a day instead of its current rate of 150 families,” said Ali. The protesters also pressed the government to provide basic amenities like food, water and electricity at the IDP camps.

The families who were repatriated on Sunday were given Rs10,000 for transport, Rs25,000 as a stipend and other amenities. The 157 families included 192 men, 255 women and 295 children.

Wanting to go home

A jirga of 18 tribes of Orkazai Agency, headed by Muttahida Qabail Party (MQP) Vice Chairman Malik Noor Habib Afridi, was held at the political administration office in Hangu.

The political administration officials also attended the jirga to discuss the issue of repatriation.

Representatives told the political administration Orakzai Agency’s tribespeople have made sacrifices for the country, and “have spent seven long years” in IDP camps in Hangu and Kohat. The tribespeople demanded the repatriation process follow the pattern of NWA IDPs’. “The areas [in Orakzai] have now been cleared by the army and repatriation must commence,” said a speaker.

Orakzai Agency Political Agent Muhammad Zubair Khan said, “The governor also wants immediate repatriation for Orakzai IDPs and we will ensure this starts in the next two months.”

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About Farman Nawaz

Farman Nawaz (Urdu: فرمان نواز); (born 5 May 1977) is Media Manager at Federal Tax Ombudsmen Secretariat Islamabad. Nawaz initially worked as a sub editor at Peshawar based provincial newspaper The Frontier Post. He contributed articles to mainly English newspapers of Pakistan, China and Afghanistan. Nawaz wrote against terrorism, extremism, and Talibanization. But his Urdu articles, published on Express News website were mainly about women rights and the status of women in Pakistan . Farman Nawaz is inspired from the liberal views of Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi and translated the Urdu articles of Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi into English. References from his articles are included to reports of various institutions, thesis and online contents. Report ‘Debating the Pakistani National Interest over the Kerry-Lugar Bill’of Middle East Media Research Institute took references from his article ‘First violation of Kerry Lugar Bill’ published in The Frontier Post.[1] Quarterly publication, Indian Foreign Affairs Journal, of Association of Indian Diplomats in its vol. 6 (2011) gave special importance to his article ‘For Better Trade Ties’ published in Daily Dawn.[2] The think tank South Asian Analysis Group highlighted his work about religious liberalism in its report ‘Identity Crisis and Political realities of Indian Muslims’.[3] Research thesis titled ‘I AM (NOT) MALALA–ANTAGONISTIC PERCEPTIONS OF A NOBEL PRIZE LAUREATE’ of Department of Foreign Languages (National Intelligence Academy, Bucharest, Romania) took references from his article Noble Prize Winner’s Fate in Pakistan’ published in Daily Outlook Afghanistan. [4] Nirmalya Dutta of Daily News and Analysis of India (DNA India) in his news story pointed to his article published in Daily Times about transgenders. [5] Salman Tarik Kureshi in his Daily Times article wrote a complete paragraph about his article published in the same newspaper. [6] Research article Promoting and Propagating Secularism through Gorakh Sutras published in International Journal of Exclusive Management Research took reference from his article “Why Indian Muslim Ullema are not popular in Pakistan?. [7] [1] Ahmad, T. (n.d.). Debating the Pakistani National Interest over the Kerry-Lugar Bill. Retrieved October 06, 2017, from https://www.memri.org/reports/debating-pakistani-national-interest-over-kerry-lugar-bill

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