PESHAWAR:           -        Internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the remote Tirah valley of Khyber District could not be rehabilitated in their native areas over the past several years although peace has returned to the region.

The tribals vacated their areas in Tirah when military operation was launched against militants in 2012. Later, their area was declared clear in 2017 but thousands of families are still stranded out of their native Tirah valley, which include the entire Kukikhel tribe along with hundreds of families from Sipah, Qamarkhel, Malakdin and Qambarkhel.

The IDPs along with different political parties activists also launched a sit-in at Jamrud for two weeks, demanding dignified return and adequate compensation of their destroyed properties at Tirah.

Speaking to The Nation, Deputy Commissioner Mahmood Aslam Wazir said that he had conveyed demands of the protesting IDPs to the higher authorities and they would soon start repatriation. “Work on construction and other schemes is also underway in Tirah valley to rebuild infrastructure and ensure facilities before they return to their native areas,” he added.

A tribesman from Khyber, Abdullah, said that unlike many other tribes who relocated to various cities, the Kukikhel tribespersons had relatives in Jamrud tehsil of Khyber, so they settled in Jamrud instead of leaving the district for other cities.

Another member from the IDPs said that they had lost their homes and other income sources in Tirah and were living a miserable life in another area.

 

They said that like families of many other merged districts, thousands of Khyber IDPs should also be rehabilitated in Bara and Tirah areas.