South Waziristan is a mountainous region in northwest Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan. It comprises the area west and southwest of Peshawar between the Tochi River to the North and the Gomal River to the South, forming part of Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The security operation in South Waziristan Agency (SWA) in 2009 led to the displacement of 107,091 families; the majority of them from the Mehsud tribe. Most of the IDPs are living in host areas where they rent houses or are staying with relatives and extended families in DI khan, Tank, Peshawar and Kohat.
Between 2010 and 2015, a number of organised and spontaneous returns took place. As a result, a total of 55,690 registered families remained displaced on 31 January 20161.
On 25th Jan 2016, during a Return Task Force (RTF) meeting held at the FDMA office in Peshawar, FDMA informed the Humanitarian community that organised returns of IDPs families to 39 villages of four tehsil of SWA i.e. Sararogha, Sarwakai, Tiarza and Ladha would commence ‘soon’. No definite date was given.
Objective and Methodology:
As part of the returns planning matrix, the protection cluster was asked by the Return Task Force (RTF) on 25 Jan 2016, to conduct a Return Intention Survey (RIS) among 2.5000 – 3.0000 IDP families of 39 de-notified villages/areas of South Waziristan Agency (SWA). Responding to this request, and in line with the Return Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) endorsed by the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) in February 2012, but also in accordance with the “Return Policy Framework for IDP from FATA” signed by FDMA in 2010, the Protection Cluster, through its cluster partner IVAP, agreed to conduct a series of consultations with the displaced population to capture their intentions and position vis-à-vis the announced return process. It should be understood that the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement are clear on a government’s responsibility to respond to the needs of IDPs during displacement and in displacement until durable solutions are reached, including sustainable returns.
From 1 – 6th Feb 2016, enumerators from protection cluster member IVAP through its call centre in Peshawar, interviewed 279 IDPs. This report presents the main findings.