After the massacre of 9/11 we became a strong ally of the United States in the War on Terror. In this regard, our Army has conducted many operations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administrative Tribal Areas (Fata).

The most prominent operations were the one in Swat, Rah-e-Nijat of South Waziristan, Zarb-e-Azb of North Waziristan, and Khyber I and II respectively against different Pakistani and foreign militants.

Due to these operations more than three million people left their homes, and settled in temporary shelters made for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in different areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Settlement of the displaced people was a big issue and a challenge for our civil and military establishments. There was a lack of facilities for the IDPs, for which the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and federal governments faced much criticism.

In 2009 our army launched operation Rah-e-Nijat in South Waziristan agency against the local militants. South Waziristan Agency, a Fata unit, is one of the regions most affected by the War on Terror after 9/11.

Wazirs and Mehsuds are the two main tribes living in South Waziristan. This operation was only against the local Taliban of the Mehsud tribes, due to which all of the Mehsud tribe migrated to the different areas of the country. This migration has directly affected the social, economic, political and cultural condition of the tribe.

The government has been able to achieve successful rehabilitation of the IDPs from Swat. The government has also started gradual process of the return of the IDPs of South and North Waziristan. Up till now the government has successfully returned more than sixty percent of IDPs of South Waziristan Agency.

However, those who have returned to their homes are complaining of a lack of basic facilities. As a result of increased pressure on the existing infrastructure, IDPs suffer multiple problems, medical as well as social. Food shortage, unsafe water, insufficient healthcare, poor sanitation, poor housing and load-shedding are some of the major issues affecting the IDPs.

They also complain of restrictions on their movement, saying that they need permission from the authorities to even take a sick person to the settled areas. Moreover, according to the local people, the military has removed roofs from some houses to ensure they can spot militants.

According to Fata Disaster Management Authority more than 70% families have returned to the South Waziristan Agency.

Last month the government announced complete return of the IDPs of S Waziristan Agency, in which my home town Valley Baddar was also included.

Baddar Valley is a mountainous area, surrounded by a large number of green trees. It is situated on the border of Shawal Valley which is also considered as the heart of the South Waziristan Agency. The estimated population is about 50,000. Many big names are also associated with the valley like Lt. Gen. (R) Alam Jan Mehsud and the present MNA Maulana Jamal Uddin Mehsud .

Even so, most of the people of the Baddar Valley are reluctant to go back to their areas.

According to one of the residents of the area the whole town ‘seems like a ghost town’. He says there is destruction everywhere.

The government has announced Rs. 400,000 grant for the reconstruction of the damaged houses of the IDPs, but the residents of the area say that the amount is not enough to rebuild their houses.

They have demanded more compensation for their damaged houses; otherwise they will not be able to reconstruct their damaged houses on the mountains.

One of the residents of the area said that mostly their houses were at the top of the mountains and that Rs. 400,000 is not enough to rebuild even a single room.

Last week the elders of the area held a Jirga in the political compound in District Tank and demanded that the government announce compensation for their damaged houses on the basis of national identity and not on the basis of the damaged houses.

Another resident of the area said that they cannot live there after they return. Their houses are demolished, agriculture fields devastated and roads damaged. “No one would wish to live there,” he says.

In the War on Terror, tribal people left their homes and sacrificed their lives, wealth and everything for the sake of their country. However, they are still suffering from countless issues like poverty, illiteracy, lack of proper healthcare facilities and lack of others necessities of life.

In this regard the NGOs can play a vital role to provide basic facilities to the people of the area, as provided in other parts of the South Waziristan Agency.

There is not a single high school for boys or girls in the area and similar is the situation in the field of healthcare and other areas. The most critical issue in the area is that there is no proper road infrastructure and electricity. The local people travel on foot for long distances.

Government and respective authorities must take some steps on an emergency footing, especially to regarding the compensation for damaged houses.

The field of education is also in dire straits. Education is the best way to defeat terrorism and extremism in Pakistan.