Waziristan refugees in Paktika seek assistance
SHARAN (Pajhwok): Families from Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal region, forced from their homes by a full-blown military operation in the volatile semiautonomous have demanded immediate relief.
Displaced by the counterinsurgency offensive a year ago, many households have sought refuge in Barmal and Orgun districts of the border province. They complain of receiving no assistance so far.
Initially, the Afghan government and some humanitarian organisations extended cash, food and material support to them. But the affected families say they are yet to receive necessary assistance.
One Orgun-based refugee from Waziristan Kalimullah told Pajhwok Afghan News he had been given only 50kilograms of wheat since his migration to the area.
“Refugees in neighbouring Khost province are regularly given food and non-food items on a monthly basis by the Afghan government and charitableNGOs. But living in a restive district, we have been ignored,” he grumbled.
Kalimullah asked the administration of President Ashraf Ghani to aid the refugees, who were living in deplorable conditions, deprived of the basic necessities of life. He hoped his call would invoke a positive response from the authorities concerned.
Another refugee, named Salam, came up with a similar complaint, saying had become miserable for him and his kin. They are in need of urgent support, according to the distraught the man, who says he has no source of income.
“With the Eid festival around the corner, we are living as refugees, something that has landed us in privations, compulsions and other problems stemming from poverty. We should be given assistance, the sooner, the better,” he remarked.
Another tribesman, who has come to Barmal from the troubled region, said assistance from the Afghan government would enable them to live a life of contentment. Abdul Ahad added: “We have long been jobless and without help. We have little to eat. What will we do if this situation continues?”
But Mohammad Raza Kharoti, the Orgun district administrative chief, claimed the refugees had received aid on several occasions. About 400 families from Waziristan are living in Barmal and over 2000 households in Orgun.
Another 80 families had recently arrived in Orgun from the embattled tribally-administered area -- which has been home to militants of all stripes. They would be given assistance after the Eid, he promised.
Similarly, the governor’s spokesman Nabiullah Pirkhel also said the Pakistanis had received relief items from the Department of Refugee Affairs and NGOs. The aid from the department included flour, cooking oil and other stuff.
According to recent media reports, the National Directorate of Security -- the Afghan spy service allegedly delivered aid to Daesh-linked families in Paktika. However, the agency moved swiftly to explain the aid was distributed to needy families from Waziristan.
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