Waziristan IDPs against military operation

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: As the calls are being raised from different segments of society for yet another Waziristan military operation, especially in the aftermath of attack on Malala Yousufzai, the internally displaced persons (IDPs) of the Operation Rah-e-Nijat (Path to Salvation) in South Waziristan on June 19, 2009, who are still homeless have expressed deep concern. Most of the IDPs are living in the slum areas of Karachi in miserable conditions. They sounded apprehensive about the news reports as they talked to Frontier Post.

Mahsud and Burki tribes were the most affected by the strife areas where operation was conducted. Almost 70 percent of the total IDPs, after getting registered at IDPs camps in Dera Ismail Khan, had come to Karachi for the obvious reason that many of them were expecting to  earn a living here. A vast majority of the IDPs are still living in Karachi. Unlike the previous operation in 2004, the whole area was evacuated in the Rah-e-Nijat operation in 2009.

“No one seems to be concerned about our miserable condition for the last three years after we were displaced during Pakistan army’s operation against terrorists,” told Mesri Khan Mehsud, an IDP from South Waziristan now residing in Iitehad Town at the western outskirt of Karachi. He said his family went back after operation but their house was no more there and they had nowhere to live.

The law and order situation in Karachi and a sharp decrease in the job opportunities has multiply their problems as many IDPs previously doing jobs of private security guards and laborer are jobless including Akber Mahsud living in the Sohrab Ghot area of Karachi.

While dreaming the peaceful past of his area the dejected Akber Mehsud is very depressed with the news of another operation in making. “Had these operations been remedy to the deteriorating Law and Order situations, we would have supported it but the previous operations have brought no good to us as during these operation the militants fled to other areas but the locals got displaced”, augured Akber while talking to Frontier Post.

“Instead of fighting against terrorism a war has been waged against terrorists. When a terrorist is eliminated three others are produced” said Munawar Burki, an IDP from South Waziristan and senior vice president of Burki Welfare organization, Karachi while showing another aspect of the operation.

“Waziristan was the most peaceful part of the region as complete peace was observed in the area despite no criminal justice system in place, the fact which may be unbelievable for the criminologists across the world”, said Burki, who, being a privileged and lucky one, has recently done his post graduation in criminology from the University of Karachi.

“We haven’t returned to our area as our house no more exists because it was destroyed during the operation” he said.

While citing a research study in UK, he said every third homeless commits a crime whereas every fifth jobless has criminal tendencies”.  He said the operation had made the people of the area both homeless and jobless, most of them now living in Karachi.

The IDPs of South Waziristan Operation came here without any help from both government and no governmental organizations and they resided in the slum areas of Karachi which are host to many problems. Every type of criminals can be found in these areas, he said.

IDPs who came to Karachi has no access to free rashon, free tents and camps as they were registered in the IDPs camps in DI Khan. They have no alternatives but to go to DI Khan to get their Rashon and other things which is very difficult if not an impossible job.

Published on Oct 20, 2012



Author: Naimat

Karachi based journalist, writing on national and international issues.

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