IDPs at Jalozai camp protest forced repatriation

NOWSHERA: The internally displaced persons (IDPs) from three tribal agencies Tuesday staged protest near Jalozai camp against non-provision of food items and forced repatriation to their villages.

Leading the protest rally of thousands of IDPs from Bajaur, Mohmand and Khyber agencies residing in Jalozai camp for the past three years, Jan Muhammad Bajauri, Abdul Salam Mohmand and others said that they were law-abiding citizens and the camp administration should not treat them as aliens.

The protesting IDPs, who were holding black flags and chanting slogans, after marching through the camp staged a sit-in outside the camp administration block. The speakers criticised the Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) for stopping provision of food items to the camp dwellers and repatriation of IDPs to their areas without compensating them for their losses. They said they would not stay in the camp for a single day if the government helped them rebuild their destroyed houses and infrastructures and ensured peace and security in the tribal areas.

“We have lost our near and dear ones and homes during militancy and military actions, but now the government is sending us back empty handed,” one of the speakers added. The protesters dispersed peacefully after the camp in-charge, Noor Akbar, held talks with the IDPs representatives and assured them that their problems would be solved. He said those IDPs should return home where peace had been restored. He said the returning IDPs would be given ration for one month after reaching their villages.

Jalozai camp is one of the largest settlements established for the IDPs of Fata where more than 15,000 uprooted families from Mohmand, Bajaur and Khyber agencies are residing for the past three years.

There are 13,000 families from Bajaur, 2,000 from Mohmand Agency and more than 4,500 from Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency settled in the camp. A good number of displaced families stated to be around 1,000 had not yet been registered. They were recently uprooted because of violence in Mohmand Agency.

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