Bannu city and IDP’s absorbing pattern in the area
Bannu city is the headquarter of Bannu Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Bannu is an oldest city founded in ancient times. However the foundation of the present Bannu was placed by Lieutenant Herbert Edwardes in 1848. Due to its geographical location and proximity to Afghanistan Bannu was once a British military base used for action against Afghan border tribes. Bannu has borders with east of Khost province of Afghanistan, 35 km east of North and South Waziristan, 127 km south of Kohat and 143 km north of Dera Ismail Khan.
The inhabitants of Bannu are called “Bannuchi” and they speak a specific dialect of Pashtu language however other languages like Urdu, Saraiki and Punjabi are also spoken and understood by the locals. The population of Bannu is mostly Pashtuns. The Bannuchi tribe dominates the city and other main tribes are Wazir, Mehsud, Dawar, Marwat and some Bangash. The people of Bannu due to extreme love with their city term Bannu as BanniGul (Beautiful as flower).
Due to its closeness to the NWA a large number of IDPs migrated to Bannu after start of the operation of the law enforcement agencies of Pakistan against the armed militants since June 2014. About one million people fled NWA and reached different parts in KP province. About .8 million people settled in Bannu with host community, in rented houses and in the tent villages. With influx of such a large number of people the population of Bannu has become almost double to its original size which has adversely affected the whole district. IDPs in the area are compelled to live in a state of deprivation in different parts of the city.
Agro-ecologically Bannu can be divided in two different parts. One part is comprised of agriculture lands with plenty of water and good irrigation system and the other part consist of deserts and barren lands with some vegetation which is mostly dependent on rains for production.
The IDPs are also distributed according to the above said pattern of agro-ecological conditions i.e. those IDPs that have large number of livestock settled in the arid portion because they free their livestock in the morning in these barren lands with fewer vegetation where they feed for the whole day and come back at the evening to their homes. The owners of the lands do not prevent the IDPs from grazing their livestock in the fields because their land is not productive.
Those who have small number of livestock are settled in the irrigated part of the Bannu. These IDPs do not free their animals rather they keep them in their houses and stall feed their livestock at homes because the local people in irrigated portion forbids IDPs from freeing their animals because there remains the risk that the animals may harm the crops of the local.