Pakistan: Feel pain and Assist the IDPs



By Sajjad Shaukat

While the military operation, “Zarb-e-Azb” against the militants in North Waziristan Agency

(NWA) has rapidly been making progress, as the jets of Pakistan Air Force have bombed

militants’ hideouts, and Pak Army has been recapturing the areas, controlled by the Tehreek-e-
Taliban Pakistan (TTP). So far, armed forces have killed several militants, destroyed their bomb-
making factories and forced more than 30 insurgents to surrender before the Army.

The operation is successfully achieving its objectives due to the fact that the entire Pakistani

nation—civil society, political parties, media houses and opinion builders fully supported

military operation against terrorists and their bases in NWA. No doubt, the progress of the

operation is very encouraging, showing sense of hope and optimism that a broad-based military

operation will annihilate the terrorists, smashing their safe havens in North Waziristan regions.

However, the operation has another vital dimension, having extraordinary demands for the entire

nation including political parties, religious groups, media houses, philanthropist communities,

economically sound individuals and social workers to feel the pain of the Internally Displaced

Persons (IDPs), coming from NWA, and extend maximum assistance to the government and the

semi-government agencies which are engaged in accommodating the IDPs and facilitating their

temporary settlements in the camps especially prepared for the purpose.

Unfortunately, the exodus of IDPs into settled areas of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other

regions is coupled with multifarious issues, as massive departure of families including innocent

civilians, women, children and elderly ones along with their personal belongings and animals

pose pathetic scenes in the sizzling heat and rough weather conditions.

It is heartening to know that with the start of the North Waziristan operation, certain volunteer

outfits quickly moved towards the expected routes of migrating crowds, offering them drinking

water, food and some relief to protect them from the scorching heat.

In this regard, Pakistan Air Force provided thousands of food packets to the IDPS, Ex-Service

Men dispatched first consignment of relief goods—eatables, drugs etc. Meanwhile, ISPR

said that initially, 454207 IDPs from NWA have been registered so far at Saidgai registration

point. Six ration distribution points have been established for IDPs, 3 at Bannu, 2 at DI Khan and

one at Tank. Detailed distribution of 4473 Tons of ration for 40000 families commenced from

June 25. Each Ration bag carries 20/80 Kg of Atta as per size of the family, cooking oil 5 Litre,

Dall 9 Kg, Date 1 Kg, and tea 1 Kg. 32 Relief goods collection points have been established by

Army in all major cities of the country for collection of donations. Earlier, the army donated one

day salary for relief to the IDPs. According to latest statement of the government, the number of

the IDPs from North Waziristan’s tribal region is likely to go up to 700,000.

It is good sign that IDPs are already being helped by the federal and provincial governments

including political and religious parties. But we must appreciate Malik Riaz of Bahria Town who

gave Rs.50 crore with promise to provide food and prepare shelters to the migrated persons of

the North Waziristan areas. He has announced to give shelter to the 100000 IDPs.

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