ISLAMABAD - For many internally displaced persons (IDPs) the common destination is Bannu for taking refuge, but for some Wazirs and Dawars tribes who have fled their native Waziristan, resort places like Murree or Nathia Gali could also be spots for temporary shelter.

Unlike thousands of IDPs who fled their homes using donkey carts, motorbikes and coaches taking refuge in nearby towns like Bannu, Karak and Lakki Marwat, Salahuddin Wazir, 46, and his 10-member family chose hill resort of Murree for a period till the military operation Zarb-e-Azb concludes in his native area.

“Usually people look sympathetically at IDPs for fleeing their areas. Not all residents of North Waziristan like alms and clemencies. We have lost our homes but not egos,” Salahuddin, who belongs to main Miranshah Bazaar and is a businessman, told The Nation on Saturday.

While the government expects exodus of over 600,000 people from North Waziristan, Salahuddin said very few people would opt to live in congested camps, arguing the people of Waziristan were not used to residing in concentrated abodes.

Barkatullah Dawar, 34, who did his masters in 2004 from Gomal University DI Khan in 2004 but is still jobless, preferred clement weather of Nathia Gali to sizzling temperature in Bannu for spending the holy month of Ramazan.

Barkat sold his weapons, livestock and a piece of land inherited to him by his parents in Lakki Marwat after he had sensed two months back that situation in his volatile tribal area might get worse in days to come.

“The movement of Uzbeks, Tajiks and other strange people had increased alarmingly in Mirali Bazaar. They would roam the town round the clock. I would listen to radio and go through newspapers and I feared the presage of military offensive,” he said.

The hilly areas are usually thronged by people during Ramazan for keeping fasts in areas where cool summer temperature is found at a time when cities in rest of the country sizzle at an average temperature of 45 degree Celsius to 50 degree Celsius.

Well-off people in North and South Waziristan are among others who would book hotels, rest houses and rented accommodation in Kaghan, Naran, Murree and Natiagali during the month of Ramazan. This time too, the moderately rich people of North Waziristan have made it resort place as Ramazan is around the corner. “It sounds strange when somebody calls me as IDP. I have been visiting the hilly area since so long but this time they look sympathetically at me,” Salahuddin who has rented a flat in Murree told this scribe.

About his close relatives who have fled their towns due to the military operation, he said they had preferred rented houses in Bannu and Kohat to living in government residences. “Except for those IDPs who are very poor, nobody in Waziristan likes to reside in camps,” he added.

The government officials have registered more than 450,000 arrivals and more than a third of them are children. The true figure is thought to be significantly higher. Many are believed to have gone to Afghanistan.