Jirgas infuriated over tribesmen’s forced displacements | Pakistan Today

Jirgas infuriated over tribesmen’s forced displacements

PESHAWAR: Many elders and representatives from different clans of Mehsud tribe from South Waziristan grieved over the shifting of around 1174 families from Boobar and Shaktoyee of Ladha region to Bakakhel camp near Bannu.

In this respect, the elders held a jirga at political administration camp office in Bannu on Tuesday and another jirga at Haq Nawaz Shaheed Park Dera Ismael Khan on Wednesday. The elders expressed severe concerns over the tribesmen’s expulsion from their homes and their forced movement from their villages to Bakekhel camps. The majority of these people have arrived in camp but there are a few, including women and children, who are bringing goats and sheep with them and are still on their way.

The personnel of security forces provided transport facilities to some of the elderly, women and children but the large majority of them were forced to walk.

A human rights activist from South Waziristan Mr Manzoor Ahmad Pashteen told media that the tribesmen were directed to walk towards Bakakhel camp immediately and were not allowed to collect even basic necessities such as warm clothes, blankets etc before leaving. He said that over 1000 families have reached in Bakakhel and are facing severe hardships. A large number of them have not been provided with tents, blankets, plastic sheets and other items yet, he added.

The elderly from all clans and sub-clans of Mehsud tribe are infuriated over the forced shifting of these people from their homes to tent villages, Mehsud said. The elders approached political agents of South Waziristan to arrange shelters for the displaced people, in response to which, the political agents assured them that their requests would be conveyed to Peshawar and Islamabad.

Although an official statement has not been issued, the political administration informed media that a military operation was going to be conducted in the area connecting Razmak town of North Waziristan with Makeen town of South Waziristan. The two areas are adjacent to a part of the mountainous area of Shawal, which is mostly under the country’s security forces’ occupation and which connects South Waziristan, North Waziristan and Afghanistan’s province Paktya.

The tribesmen of the two villages were first made to abandon their homes when armed forces embarked on military action Raah-i-Nijaat in 2009. They returned to homes on completion of the military action but were forced to evacuate again when armed forces started operation Zarb-i-Azab in June 2014. They returned to their homes in 2015-2016.

Since 2009, almost all members of the Mehsud tribe have been displaced due to terror and military action. These displaced tribesmen never remain in camps, choosing to move to rented houses and, when they can, with their relatives and friends. Many Meshud tribesmen also have houses in Tank and Dera Ismael Khan districts of Khyber Agency in addition to their houses in South Waziristan.

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