Documents show aid goes to deserving families
KABUL (Pajhwok): Pajhwok Afghan News on Thursday obtained official documents that show the Afghan government has distributed monetary assistance to deserving families of refugees from Pakistan’s Waziristan tribal region in southeastern Paktika province.
Thousands of families migrated to Khost and Paktika provinces after the Pakistani army launched "Operation Zarb-i-Azab" last year in Waziristan, a semi autonomous tribal area near the Afghanistan border.
Local residents warmly welcomed the displaced families while some, including businessmen, provided them with financial support and others shared their houses with the families.
Former president Hamid Karzai had sanctioned $200,000 in aid to the Waziristan families in Khost and Paktika province.
The documents available with Pajhwok show the money has been distributed among deserving families through a commission.
However, Paktika governor Abdul Karim Matin recently alleged that the National Security Council (NSC) had distributed the money to families of fighters aligned with the so-called Islamic State or Daesh group.
His allegation prompted the NSC to form a committee, headed by the interior minister, to investigate the matter.
Interior Minister Noorul Haq Ulumi on Thursday told reporters in Kabul the Paktika governor had been quoted out of context.
He said the governor meant to say that families of Daesh fighters might have benifitted from the assistance.
A member of the NSC told told Pajhwok Afghan News the cash grants had been distributed through a commission comprising officials from national and international organizations such as the UN, the Red Cross, the World Food Organization and the UN high Commissioner for Refugees.
Each family had received 2,500 afg, he said, adding that at the time when the aid was distributed, no group by the name of Daesh existed in Afghanistan.
The 25-page documents consist letters from the Ministry of Finance, local departments and Paktika and Khost officials, which clearly prove the Afghan government has distributed the amount to deserving Waziristan refugees in Paktika and Khost.
One of the letters had been written by then National Security Advisor Rangin Dadfar Spanta. The letter with reference no 4729 dated 1st July, 2014 sent to different ministries states that refugees from Waziristan need special immediate attention.
In his letter, then Finance Minister Dr Zakhilwal had demanded one million American dollars for refugees from Waziristan.
Then president Hamid Karzai approved one million dollar dated 25th July 2014 and the file number of the said document was 2877.
The NSC had asked the Finance Ministry to dispatch the approved amount immediately to Khost and Paktika provinces in a letter reference no 3224 dated July, 2014.
Abdul Khaliq Farahi, the then director of Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG), had directed Khost and Paktika officials to distribute the cash grant among families from Waziristan in cooperation with NSC officials in a letter dated late July, 2014.
Pajhwok obtained all the letters which prove that ministries of rural rehabilitation and development, tribal and border affairs, refugee and repatriation and the Afghan Red Crescent Society had nominated their officials to distribute the money to vulnerable families.
A letter reference no 691 from the IDLG dated 15th Nov, 2014 stated that “The designated commission distributed $200000 (11200000 afghanis) among the migrated families from Waziristan. Each family received 2500 afs in cash.”
The letter states that the commission was comprised of directors of Afghanistan Natural Disaster Management Authority, the Ministry of Refugee and Repatriation, the Ministry of Tribal and Border Affairs, provincial officials, representative of the Red Crescent, representative from the Rural Rehabilitation Development, the Burmal district chief, police chief and some local elders.
A letter dated 12th December, 2014 reference number 858 from Paktika governor’s office to the NSC stated that Eng. Abdul Karim Matin, then new Paktika governor, had been officially briefed in detail on the number of migrated families from Waziristan and aid provided to them.
In the meeting, the governor had directed the officials concerned to establish a separate camp for the migrated people so that they would not mix up with locals and so the assistance would not go waste.
A letter reference no 151278 from the Ministry of Finance to the Paktika revenue department clearly mentions the said amount had been dispatched.
A letter reference no 2041 dated 6th April 2014, Mohammad Nasir Ibrahim Khail, the then revenue officer in Paktika, wrote a letter to the Ministry Finance that he had received the sum amounting to $200000 and asked for the procedure of distribution of the amount to the refugee families.
Abdul Hadi Hadi, ANDMA director, in a letter to the Emergency Response Committee (ERC) had said the governor’s office in Paktika had received the amount and requested for its distribution to the refugee families.
In the same letter, the Emergency Response Committee head approved 2500 afgs to each family.
In another letter dated 9th October, 2014 reference no 242, Hadi said the said amount had been equally distributed among 4480 families in Burmal and Argon districts.
Pajhwok also obtained documents having signatures of the committee members after distributing the amount in Burmal and Argon districts.
IDLG spokesman Tawab Ghorzan said they had also initiated a probe into the governor’s allegation.
But Governor Matin said the media had quoted him out of context. He said he had not blamed the NSC for distributing the $200,000 assistance to families of Daesh members.
He said in his interview with the media, he had criticised policies of the previous government for having no control in Barmal district.
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