BANNU - The shortage of transport facilities and single exit point at Saidgai post over Bannu-Miranshah road hamper the flow of tribesmen evacuating North Waziristan in the wake of military operation Zarb-e-Azb, said Muhammad Nazir Khan, MNA from North Waziristan.
“Single exit point at Saidgai post works like a chokepoint causing traffic congestion. Long queues of vehicles, even up to five kilometers, is a common sight in the area where vehicles need nearly 48 hours to cross the area”, the parliamentarian told this scribe.
He said that reaching Bannu on foot is better than waiting in vehicle under scorching sun for your turn at the exit point. “Even two children and a woman died due to thirst while they were stuck in long queues and there was no water available”, he revealed.
However, Muhammad Nazir Khan, a transporter turned politician, looks satisfied with multiple registration points - ten each for males and females - where the IDPs are being registered by the security forces at Saidgai point.
Nazir who won elections from NA-40 as independent candidate and later on joined PML-N, avoids criticizing the ‘poor performance’ of both provincial and federal governments while tackling the IDPs whoever, he has a humble request that the ‘2000 vehicles should be made available’ for the transportation of displaced tribesmen as it was promised.
Around 300,000 tribesmen have left North Waziristan but majority of them are reluctant to take shelter at government established camps for IDPs. “During the ongoing summer break, the tribesmen should be allowed to take shelter in schools and colleges’ buildings, as in such weather living in camps without electricity and other facilities is not possible,” he suggested.
Apart from soaring rates of transportation the tribesmen also face the problem of inflated rents for acquiring houses in Bannu. According to Muhammad Nazir, as compared to food and transportation, shelter is the main demand of the dispersed tribesmen of North Waziristan. “Even food could be arranged through self-help basis but pardah is the need of hour,” he said.
“The government should keep control over high charges of transportation and the inflated rents of houses,” demanded Nazir.
-The writer is a freelance contributor.