IDPs unwilling to return will be deregistered

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Zulfiqar Ali

PESHAWAR: The government has decided to deregister the internally displaced families disinclined to return to native towns in Fata.

The decision was made during a meeting here on Thursday, which discussed the return, rehabilitation and other issues related to militancy-hit people of Fata.

KP Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra chaired the meeting, said an official statement.

“The families living intentionally as temporarily dislocated persons would be deregistered just on a notice of four weeks time and the public would be informed through media in this respect”, it added.

Governor orders vigorous efforts for Fata rehabilitation, uplift

An official privy to the meeting told Dawn that despite clearance of the areas, many displaced persons intentionally wanted to live as internally displaced persons.

“The registration of such families as IDPs will be cancelled,” he said.

The official said a large number of families have been identified who don’t want to go back to their homes in Fata despite the fact their native areas have been de-notified as conflict zones,” he said.

Orakzai Agency is among the areas, which have been cleared from militants but displaced families are unwilling to go there, he said, adding that the government would deregister them as IDPs.

Like Orakzai, other parts of Fata including North Waziristan, South Waziristan, Khyber and Kurram have been de-notified as conflict zones.

The government is paying Rs12,000 cash to each dislocated family of North Waziristan Agency while IDPs from other tribal agencies are provided edible items like cooking oil, wheat flour and few other items.

However, IDPs and those, who recently returned to Mirali and Miramshah sub-divisions of North Waziristan Agency, complained that the cleared areas didn’t have basic facilities like drinking water, shelter, electricity, education and health.

“You can’t live normal life in these areas therefore people are reluctant to go back,” said a resident of Miramshah who brought back his family to Peshawar after spending three days in his village due to non availability of basic needs of life.

“There is no sign of life. There is neither job, nor other facilities due to which what I will be doing there,” he said.

The official statement said Governor Jhagra while conceding to the genuine causes of delay on part of certain tribal families to go to native places said efforts should be continued vigorously for rehabilitation and development of the infrastructure facilities across Fata.

The governor was informed that harsh weather conditions coupled with sectarian issues oriented excuses in certain areas have been noted as the major cause of delay in repatriation of the remaining 18 per cent affected families hailing from respective areas.

Of the total of 336,042 displaced families, 276,494 have already returned to native areas. The rest also include those camped across the border in Afghanistan, the meeting was told.

The governor while noting the continuity of the problem also stressed to expedite efforts to get foreign commitments materialised and ensure the release of money within the shortest possible time.

Noting the genuine difficulties in delay of certain displaced families’ repatriation, he said steps were already underway at the proper level to bring back the families, who had shifted across the border sometime ago.

He however said no efforts should be spared to ensure efficient rehabilitation of infrastructure facilities and to eliminate the chances of any sort of excuses.

The meeting was attended additional chief secretary and other civil and military officers.

Our Correspondent from Landi Kotal adds: The local political administration distributed Rs80.4 million among displaced families, who recently returned to their homes, in the central division of Kurram Agency on Thursday.

Political agent Ikramullah Khan distributed cheques during a special ceremony in Sadda Town.

He said a total of 1,200 families had been registered to get compensation for damaged houses in central Kurram Agency.

The political agent said cheques valuing Rs80.4 million were distributed to 218 families and that the rest would get compensation very soon.

The government is paying Rs400,000 for a fully damaged house and Rs160,000 for a partially damaged house in Fata.

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