South Waziristan no more Safe, Moving towards Safer Havens

Written by  Published by:Pakistan Views Monday, 21 September 2015 17:20

DI KHAN: Families from Sawakai tehsil of South Waziristan have started moving to safer grounds on Sunday.

The decision to vacate the area was taken after aerial bombardment was carried out against militants in Ziarat Zhay area of the tehsil two days ago.

An official privy to the development said a majority of these families belong to the Mehsud tribe. “Many of them have shifted towards Spin Kach along Gomal River,” he said. “Some families have also shifted to settled areas like Tank.”

Forced to flee

Muhammad Nawaz, a tribesman whose family was recently displaced, told media he left his home in Ziarat Zhay two days back and reached Tank on Sunday.

“I have left behind all my assets,” he said. “I have only brought some household items as we travelled on foot.”

Nawaz added transport facilities were not available to many people. “A large number of families had paid Rs1,000 to travel on camels,” he said. “The rate later increased to Rs2,000.”

The families predominantly hail from the mountains and rely on cattle to earn their bread and butter.

Another tribesperson said the government had only given them a three-day deadline to vacate the area.

Registration woes

South Waziristan Assistant Political Agent Nawab Safi confirmed many families had started moving towards safer areas.

“At least 11 families have moved to settled areas,” he said. “The political administration has dispatched a team to Gardowai check post to register the families.”

Safi added a majority of IDPs have already been registered.“As a result, the political administration cannot provide them with facilities,” he said.

The way forward

Elders of the Mehsud tribe held a jirga at Irfan Park in Tank to find a solution to their predicament. Insiders familiar with the matter said another jirga will be convened on Tuesday to determine the future course of action.

Twist of fate

Last month, a large number of IDPs were repatriated to Sawakai from Tank district. The repatriation was jointly carried out by the political administration and Pakistan Army.

Following Operation Rah-e-Najat in 2009, a large number of tribespeople were displaced from the region.

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