Bara refugees demand IDP status, basic facilities


The tribesmen of Bara tehsil, Khyber Agency should be declared Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) as they were forced to leave their houses ahead of a military operation against militants, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) leader Sahibzada Haroon-ur-Rasheed said on Wednesday.
While addressing a protest camp by Bara refugees, the JI leader for Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) said the military offensive in Bara tehsil had displaced thousands of families without giving them any proper living arrangements. The former parliamentarian said the government, despite receiving billions of dollars from all over the world in the name of IDPs, had not spent any funds to facilitate the Bara IDPs, who were living in miserable conditions at Afghan refugee camp, Jalozai.
He claimed the military operations in the tribal belt had killed 30,000 tribesmen, disfigured another 50,000, destroyed 60,000 houses and made millions of people psychological patients. “The government has provided basic living facilities to the IDPs of Malakand division, Bajour and Mohmand agencies, and gave Rs 25,000 to each dead and Rs 10,000 to each injured, while registering 100 percent of the IDPs,” Raseed said, adding that even the most basic necessities of life were not available to the Bara IDPs.
He announced his party’s support for the refugees for their protests on November 30 and December 5, 2011.
Another movement leader, Shah Faysal Afridi, said that markets and educational institutions in Bara had been closed for the last three years due to the military operation. He demanded special grants and incentives for the businessmen of Bara.
The protesters appealed to the chief justice of Pakistan to take notice of the human rights violations in FATA, saying the United States was hatching a conspiracy to sow hatred between the tribal people and the Pakistan Army.