PESHAWAR - Hundreds of internally displaced persons (IDPs) refusing to vacate buildings of government schools staged a protest demonstration in Bannu district and said either they should be sent back to the areas cleared by security forces in North Waziristan Agency or alternate places be specified for their shelter immediately.

The IDPs have been residing in government schools buildings since June last after the armed forces launched a massive operation against local and foreign militants in North Waziristan Agency. They said the government is pressuring them to vacate the schools till end of the current month.

The participants of the demonstration assembled in front of a ration distribution centre where they asked the displaced persons already standing in queues to obtain ration to join them. But they were reluctant to join them due to which the situation became tense for a while; however, police rushed to the site and cooled down both the sides.

The protesting IDPs were of the view that they would not vacate schools, which are going to be reopened on September 1 after two and a half month summer vacations. The government wants to shift the displaced families to the camps; however, the IDPs are reluctant to do so.



Sardar Hussain Babak, parliamentary leader of Awami National Party in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly, has said that the provincial government must arrange alternate accommodation facilities for internally displaced persons (IDPs) before forcing them to vacate government schools.

He said that it is not fair to disturb the poor displaced families of North Waziristan Agency as these people have rendered great sacrifices for the cause of the country. He said that provincial government should finish the drama of Azadi March and must focus on the issues of the IDPs.

He said that the names of IDPs would be written in golden words in history, as these affected families have left their houses and took refuge in makeshift camps.

He said that attitude of federal and provincial governments is extremely disappointing in this critical situation. He maintained that these families have come out of their houses due to military operation being launched by the government and now it is the government’s responsibility to accommodate them.

He added if the government betrayed the internally displaced persons, it may affect the war on terror in North Waziristan Agency.