Sorry plight of the IDPs


    Comment by S.R.H. Hashmi

    If we decided to rate Pakistan on the basis of provision of very basic services, which differentiate human from animals, I am afraid our country will not end up a high scorer.

    But when we think of FATA, we notice that they are worse off even from Pakistani standards, and that clearly shows the extent of deprivation of the people there. And an exhaustive article ‘FATA reforms: busting some myths’ (February 21) by Muhammad Anwar in Express Tribune does nothing to dispel that impression.

    And since the author of the article happens to be ‘an executive director of Centre for Governance and Public Accountability and holds a master’s degree in Development Studies from the University of Rotterdam, we can safely assume that he knows what he is talking about.

    Additionally, not coming from political background, he would not be engaged in point-scoring.

    It is really shocking to learn that the systems imposed on FATA by the British – mainly to meet the narrow needs of the empire - are still there, almost unchanged, nearly seven decades after independence, which did not quite arrive in FATA.

    Since Muhammad Anwar has ably described the shortcomings in the political, administrative and justice system as applied in FATA, I do not need to dwell on that. And I will basically deal with the plight of the internally displaced persons.

    Isn’t it a shame that the persons who had to leave their homes as a result of the Zarb-e-Azb operation, which started in June 2014, still remain in camps – and definitely not with five-star facilities - and have been unable to return to their homes, or whatever is left of them, by now.?

    And going a step further, many of them will still be forced to live in camps even beyond the year 2016.

    And the main hurdles to the repatriation of the displaced persons could prove to be financial constraints, stalled work on Fata reforms as well as security clearance, as stated in the article.

    However, considering the fast-pace at which the armed forces are working, I am sure they will be able to give security clearance for the territory long before the end of year 2016.

    So, the ultimate hurdles could prove to be the finances and the stalled work of FATA reforms, both of which point towards the lethargy, or rather criminal negligence of the government.

    And to add to the misfortunes of the province, Imran Khan, who is relatively a late starter in Pakistani politics, and wants to become a prime minister double quick, considers it more opportune to politic in Sindh and Punjab instead of concentrating on the province where his party runs the government and for which he has a direct responsibility.

    So, the misery of the unfortunate people in FATA, and the nearby territory, continues unabated.


  • Sad state of affairs... I would like to know how many poor IDPs living in

    karachi/Sindh or other part of Pakistan.

    Is Fed giving out any thing to province extra from NFC, if IDPs decided to stay at their new home are they registered to vote?