ISLAMABAD: Ministry of State & Frontier Regions (SAFRON) on Thursday rejected the claim of Afghanistan that 100,000 persons from North Waziristan Agency (NWA) have migrated to its territory after Pakistan’s armed forces launched a military offensive to hunt down the terrorists.
“It is the propaganda of Afghan government and nothing else,” SAFRON officials told a Senate standing committee, which reviewed the situation of IDPs and suggested measures to resolve their problems. “How can a country like Afghanistan that can’t manage to bring back 3.2 million Afghan refugees is able to look after 100,000 Pakistanis displaced by the military operation,” SAFRON’s representative Tariq Hayyat remarked before the committee.
He informed the members that 33,000 persons from NWA came back from Afghan border after the armed forces launched its military offensive in the area and pointed out that many tribal people have dual registration both in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which has created the doubts. About the presence of local population in NWA after the military operation, the committee was told that 53,000 natives are still in the area to look after their cattle and properties.
The ministry officials also put the figure of IDPs at 625,000 from NWA and every person was verified by NADRA for registration. About the financial assistance being given to IDPs, it was informed that the government is paying Rs 52,000 to each family with 90kgs bag having sugar, flour and other edible items. Around 144,000 bags have been distributed among IDPs apart from 5000 paid to buy the crockery, government officials told the committee.
About the district-wise breakup of IDPs, officials told that 80 percent of IDPS have camped in Bannu district, five percent in DI Khan, six percent in Lakki Marwat, one percent in Karak and seven percent have gone to various parts of the country. About any ban on entry of these IDPS in other provinces of the country, officials refuted any such thing and explicitly stated that no provincial government didn’t restricted their entry anywhere in the country.
Committee, chaired by Senator Kalsoom Perveen, however showed concern over the poor management to handle these IDPs, which she said have sacrificed for the country. Senator Baz Mohammad Khan said that tension is prevailing in Bannu after these IDPS arrived there as four people have been killed in clashes between the local population of Bannu and IDPs. Senator Rubian Khalid noted that lack of activeness on part of federal and provincial governments didn’t evoke a national spirit on the issue of IDPS and because of it they are facing the hardships.
She also criticized the Independence Day celebrations of federal government and Long March of KPK government saying both are wasting their times rather to look after these IDPs. NDMA Chief Gen. (r) Zubair told the committee that reports about shortage of relief goods are not correct because these are available in sufficient quantity. SAFRON’s representative Tariq Hayyat said that operation may last for four to six months and then these IDPS can return to their hometown NWA.
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