Wednesday December 06, 2023

Govt finally begins repatriation of NW IDPs

By our correspondents
September 09, 2017

MIRANSHAH: The government on Thursday finally started repatriation of the displaced tribespeople of Danday Darpakhel town of North Waziristan tribal region who had remained away from their homes and villages for about three-and-a-half-years.

Like residents of several other villages of North Waziristan, about 2,390 families of Danday Darpakhel were displaced when the Pakistan Army launched a major offensive in the tribal region against the militants on June 15, 2014.

Though a majority of the displaced families returned to their homes and villages, it took enough time for the government and its rehabilitation agency, Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA), to send back the residents of Danday Darpakhel.

Danday Darpakhel is located on Miranshah-Ghulam Khan road about three kilometres of North Waziristan regional administrative headquarters Miranshah.Local tribesmen believed it was after their protest demonstration that the government agreed to send them back home. However, they complained that the government first kept them unnecessarily away from their homes and villages and when the repatriation began, the process was very slow and a limited number of families were being sent back to the town.

“Two months ago, the government had announced the repatriation plan and told us that the first batch would leave on August 28. It was delayed for reasons best known to them. And now when the process started, 280 families are being sent home,” said one of the repatriating tribesmen on condition of anonymity.

He said that after their clearance at 3pm at the Bakakhel IDPs camp in Frontier Region Bannu, the IDPs wanted to leave the camp so they could reach their village before sunset. However, he said the local authorities didn’t allow them and unnecessarily delayed their convoy.

“I don’t understand the reason but they didn’t want us to reach our villages before sunset. We have not been able to see our villages and houses after June 15, 2014 and this is why we wanted to reach on time as we heard from people that majority of the houses have been flattened and their construction materials sold to the contractors,” said the tribesman.

Also, he complained that some members of his family, including his sons and their wives, were not given permission to travel with him and rather asked to leave the camp on September 13.

“We may reach our village at midnight but even then I am very excited to see the village and spend the night there after a long time. I left my newly constructed house with all belongings inside it and don’t know if these have been spared,” said the tribesman.