Displaced residents of Matchis Killi want to return home

Sakeenullah Dawar

MIRANSHAH: The residents of Matchis Killi area of North Waziristan tribal district on Friday held a protest demonstration for their repatriation to their native area.

A large number of displaced people from Matchis Killi took part in the protest which was held in front of Miranshah Press Club. The protesters were holding banners and placards inscribed with slogans in favour of their demands. They said their area has been cleared by the security forces in the military operations, but the local residents have not been allowed to come back to their homes. They said they are extremely perturbed over long displacement from their native area and can’t wait to return their original homes.

Malik Alam Khan, Malik Rehman, Malik Mashal and Gul Alam, who were leading the protest, said the people displaced from Matchis Killi are facing many difficulties in extreme cold weather. They said they are extremely home sick due to long displacement and want to return home without further delay.

Operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched on 15 June, 2014 in North Waziristan in which militants were successful driven out of the region. The operation also caused mass displacement of the local population. After achieving the operation objectives, most of the displaced people have returned to North Waziristan in phases.

The entry of non-locals was initially banned in North Waziristan keeping in view the security environment of the region. However, after further improvement of the situation, the ban has been lifted now as part of an effort to bring complete normalcy in North Waziristan.

Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) says about 98 percent displaced people have returned to North Waziristan and the remaining will return soon. Some of the families in North Waziristan had also migrated to Afghanistan during military operation and many of them have also returned.

However, the people of Matchis Killi are still waiting for return to their native areas. The area people said their repatriation must be ensured as soon as possible and all facilities should be provided to them upon return. They said they will continue protests till they get back to their native area and get all facilities.