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2,400 displaced families return from Afghanistan

By Pazir Gul 2016-07-19
PESHAWAR: Around 2,400 families from North Waziristan Agency, which had sought refuge in Afghanistan in the wake of the Zarb-i-Azb operation, have returned to Bannu, according to an official.

He said that 5,000 families belonging to Momedkhel and Madakhel tribes and living near the Afghan border had fled to Afghanistan after the operation was launched to clear North Waziristan of militants. The families settled at a camp in Khost province and were getting financial assistance and food from the Afghan government and United Nations` agencies.The official said that Political Agent Kamran Afridi had sent a delegation of 10 tribal elders to Afghanistan to persuade the families to return to Pakistan. The elders distributed 5,000 registration forms among the families.

On the directives of the administration, a registration desk was set up at the Ghulam Khan border crossing checkpost where 2,400 families were registered on arrival from Khost. The families were taken to Bannu and will be taken bacl< to their homes in North Waziristan Agency by the end of November.

The official said that registration of the families which had taken refuge in Afghanistan was compulsory at the Ghulam Khan checkpost. Like other displaced persons, he said, the familieswould be allowed to go back to their homes under the government-sponsored return plan.

`The remaining families living in Afghanistan have been assured that they will be returned to their native areas soon,` the official said.

Meanwhile, return of internally displaced persons to their homes in North Waziristan is in progress.

Of ficials said that 45,700 families had returned to their homes and 44,300 others were waiting for their turn.

More than one million people had fled North Waziristan after the military operation was launched. In addition, about 100,000 individuals hadleftforAfghanistanbutmostof themreturned to Pakistan via Kurram Agency in 2014.