The news of protests held by nationalist parties in Sindh against the arrival of internally displaced persons (IDPs) is not only heart-wrenching but also outrageous. The stance of Sindh and Punjab over providing shelter to IDPs has already been a disappointment. However, the staging of protests against their rehabilitation takes their callousness to new heights. The protestors may have a valid point, when they claim that militants can disguise themselves as IDPs. But this isn’t entirely the issue. Nationalist leaders have said that if the IDPs settle in Sindh, they will reduce Sindhis to a minority. It is sad to see nationalists playing politics when about one million people have been displaced from their homes so that the rest of the country can breathe in a terror-free environment. If the nationalists believe that the influx of IDPs is violating any provincial policy, they can inform the relevant authorities to take the required measures to deal with the situation. Let’s not forget that the people, we now refer to as IDPs, have been victims of terrorism in the past. They have been trapped within the rule of terrorists and militants for years because authorities chose to turn a blind eye to their situation. They deserve our protection and support. The treatment they are being subjected to is excruciatingly distressful. If this is not taken care of on an immediate basis, it will lead to even more violence and unrest in the country.

Sarah Mughal,

Islamabad, July 15.