Pakistan

An alliance comprising 32 nationalist groups have launched a movement to stop displaced people from the region.

INDONESIA

Senin, 15 Des 2014 10:56 WIB

Author

Naeem Sahoutara

Pakistan

Pakistan, IDP, refugees, war, Naeem Sahoutara

The Pakistani army is expanding its ongoing offensive against Taliban militants in North Waziristan.

The government has vowed to continue fighting till the last militant is killed. The operation that began in June has displaced nearly a million people.

Tens of thousands of them are believed to have ended up in Sindh province.

70-year-old Loi Khan begs in a slum on the outskirts of Karachi.

He fled his home in North Waziristan in June after fierce fighting broke out with the military and the Taliban military.

He is here with his two wives and seven children.

“Look at this. A kind person gave me US 40 cents. My children have got some food at a wedding party nearby. This is how we are living. For God sake someone help us.”

The military operation has displaced around one million people since it was launched in June.

The camps set up by the government in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhawa province lack basic facilities.

So most people like Khan has taken refuge in cities like Karachi.

They hoped to find work…but that has been very hard for Khan.

“I’ve lost my livelihood and my children lost their school. It’s been months now that we are living at the mercy of the Allah. No one from the government officials has come to ask if we need any help. And they have given us a single penny.”

Not only are they struggling to survive but now they are being told they are not welcome.

An alliance comprising 32 nationalist groups have launched a movement to stop displaced people from the region.

Back in August they blocked the highway near where Loi Khan lives.

They shout…. “Taliban not accepted in Sindh.”

The protest leader Jalal Mehmood Shah says they believe some of the displaced people are really militants. 

“The peace in our area will be disturbed by arrival of militants from North Waziristan in the guise of displaced persons. The violence, drugs and arms menace will plague our homeland. Already the exodus of the Afghans and people from the Swat Valley in the past has spoil Karachi’s peace. Now, they’re coming from North Waziristan.”

Under pressure the government has started screening people when they arrive.

The army is gradually expanding its operations to the other tribal areas.

The government has admitted it can’t handle the number of displaced people and has sought humanitarian assistance from the United State.

The government has received nearly 18 million US dollars from USAID for food, shelter and healthcare services for the refugees.

Security analyst Ikram Sehgal says the government must make sure they are taken care of.

“If the internally displaced persons (IDPs) are not taken care well there will be resentment. The consequences of the resentment are endless. What will have to eliminate the terrorism, but there will be more people tend towards militancy.”

Back at the slum Loi Khan’s family has just finished their dinner.

He says he doesn’t want to stay in Karachi and dreams of the day when they can go home.

“Why not. Our relatives, friends, houses, everything is there. Insha Allah we will go back to our home to live in peace again.”

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