Pakistan

Next phase of IDPs' repatriation to start on 11th

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ZULFIQAR ALI

PESHAWAR: The Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) will begin the third phase of the return of internally displaced persons to five Fata agencies on April 11.

An official concerned told Dawn that around 84,553 displaced families would go back to their homes in the third phase to be completed by the end of August.

He said under the plan, the authority was starting the programme of the IDPs’ return to Orakzai Agency from April 11 and that 15,553 families would be facilitated to go back to their homes.

Official says 84,553 families to return home by Aug end The official said 22,000 families would be repatriated to North Waziristan, 30,000 families to South Waziristan, 12,000 families to Kurram and 5,000 families to Khyber Agency.

Sources said Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif had directed the departments concerned to ensure the complete return of Fata IDPs to their homes before his retirement, which was due in November this year.

“We are sure to finish the caseload of all IDPs from Fata until November,” an official told Dawn.

The displacement of civilians from Fata began in 2007 when the security forces launched a full-fledged operation against militants in Bajaur Agency and other parts of Fata.

The IDPs from Orakzai, Mehsud tribe-dominated area of South Waziristan, and Kurram have become homeless since 2008.

The major caseload of IDPs was from North Waziristan where over 110,000 families were forced to leave their homes after the army launched the Zarb-i-Azb operation in June 2014.

The areas where IDPs will return have been de-notified as conflict zones.

A team of the United Nations Department of Safety and Security has recently visited the de-notified areas in the central tehsil of Kurram Agency and North Waziristan Agency to assess the security situation.

The FDMA with the assistance of the UN agencies has repatriated a total of 151,833 families in South Waziristan, North Waziristan, Khyber, Orakzai and Kurram agencies in 2015.

Every family received Rs25,000 cash assistance, Rs10,000 transportation cost, and food rations for six months.

However, the government has yet to start the payment of compensation to the affected families for damages of houses. The federal government had announced payment of Rs400,000 for the fully damaged house and Rs160,000 for partially damaged house.

Officials in the FDMA are optimistic that the return of IDPs will be completed before November next.

They said the caseload of Khyber Agency would be completed with the return of 5,000 families by the end of June, while the return of IDPs to Orakzai and central tehsil of Kurram Agency would be finished before August.

The officials said the return of families to upper and lower tehsils of Kurram Agency, who became displaced in the aftermath of the 2007 sectarian clashes, would be decided at appropriate time.

They said these families had been temporarily settled in Peshawar, Kohat and upper tehsil of Kurram Agency.

A relevant official said after the completion of the third phase, the last phase of the IDPs’ repatriation, was likely to begin after August.

He said 26,000 families of South Waziristan and 44,000 families of North Waziristan would be repatriated before November.

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