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Displaced North Waziristan men dance Attan to get govt’s attention

Families returned home to find their houses damaged

SAMAA | - Posted: Oct 9, 2018 | Last Updated: 3 years ago
Posted: Oct 9, 2018 | Last Updated: 3 years ago

Some people hold placards outside press clubs, others set tires on fire. Folks from North Waziristan… they dance.

On Tuesday, families displaced from North Waziristan tribal district started to do the Waziri Attan outside Governor House in Peshawar to get the government’s attention. And they did.

“We came back from Afghanistan and since then have been living in camps,” said Malik Ghulam Rasool, a tribal elder heading the protest.

The tribespeople are protesting the government’s inability to repatriate families displaced from North Waziristan during the military operation, Zarb-e-Azab. There are more than 15,000 families from North Waziristan alone who have not been able to return home for multiple reasons.

The protestors were later called to negotiate by the Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA). Around 30 jirga members attended the talks, a spokesperson for the organization said. The protestors have two major demands, he said.

The first demand is to unblock their funds. The government was supposed to transfer Rs12,000 to each family when it was displaced. But the payments were stopped when their home areas were “denotified”. Denotification means that the areas are declared clear of militants and safe for the population to return to. The only problem is that when these people went home, they found their houses were damaged and as they had no place to stay, they had to leave again.

The system requires that such families get two tribal elders to verify their displacement. This has to then be signed by the Deputy Commissioner’s office. There are also families who have not been registered because of technical reasons such as not having a CNIC.

The second demand is that their native villages be cleared so that they can go back to their homes.

The director of operations at the FDMA, Nasir Durrani, told the jirga that money for the displaced families will be disbursed in three phases. Since the compensation is being distributed through SIMs, those that are blocked will also be activated as soon as possible.

The jirga members assured that they would end their protest for now but warned that if their grievances were not addressed they would march towards Islamabad. The governor has called them to meet Friday.
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