The number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from North Waziristan is far higher than what the government and relevant authorities may have had in mind. According to Federal Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) Director General Abdul Majeed, 92,702 families have been manually registered at several registration points. So far, NADRA has verified 49,857 families leaving almost half of the total number of IDPs unregistered and deprived of the assistance that is only extended to those who have been verified. The process is moving too slowly for the large number of people who are in need of immediate help. Reports from WHO suggest that unless medical care is not provided, the IDPs will remain vulnerable to diseases. Government officials claim that 80% of IDPs are currently residing in Bannu, while the rest are staying in Lakki Marvat, DI Khan and other parts of the country. Too little is available in these areas for far too many people. Be it food, clean water, doctors, rooms – there is a shortage of everything and steps need to be taken to close the massive gap between what is required and what is being provided.

As inhabitants of FATA, most of these people have spent their entire lives in a neglected region. When the state actually has taken interest in the tribal populace, it has been in pursuit of its misguided policies and goals instead of welfare of the people. Those policies have turned FATA into a cesspool of local and foreign militants who present an immediate threat to internal and global peace. Ultimately, it has resulted in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people from North Waziristan. It is rather difficult to imagine that they view the state as their knight in shining armor who has rescued the distressed tribesmen from the grip of terrorists. It is extremely important to ensure that this recent interaction between the state and the IDPs doesn’t further alienate them. The government isn’t doing it right. Where are the marathon transmissions? Where are the extensive fundraising campaigns? Yes, it is a tragedy that so many families have had to abandon their homes and possessions. But, this is also the opportunity for the government to show how it takes care of citizens. It can improve matters or worsen them, and from what we can see so far, it is far more successful at the latter.