Two-pronged plan for Bajaur IDPs’ repatriation
PESHAWAR: After the repatriation of the conflict-affected people from Malakand, the government has planned the return of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Bajaur Agency, who would initially be shifted from the settled districts to a government-acquired land in the agency.
The Fata Secretariat, Peshawar, has devised a two-pronged policy for the repatriation of uprooted families from Bajaur Agency and for this purpose the government would first purchase or acquire land for the initial settlement of the returning IDPs whose houses were demolished or destroyed during the military operation.
Likewise, the camps in Peshawar, Nowshera and other parts of the Frontier for Mohmand and Bajaur IDPs would be closed after the formal announcement of their repatriation. An official in the Fata Secretariat said that some 8,000 families or 55,000 individuals belonging to Loy Sam, Zor Bandar, Inayat Killay and other areas in Bajaur would be accommodated on the government-acquired land. Besides being given cash at the time of their arrival to the agency, the homeless tribesmen would be provided transportation facilities and ration for at least six months.
Aurangzeb sees no chance of lasting peace in Swat
ISLAMABAD: Wali of Swat Miangul Aurangzeb foresees no chance of lasting peace returning to the paradise-on-earth-like Swat Valley even in many decades to come.
The octogenarian, who would have been ruling Swat had it not been merged into Pakistan in 1969, feels extremely sorry for the horrific events, the people of this region faced and how the ‘law-enforcement agencies let it happen’.
“Even at this stage, I am not a pessimist. But look, you have failed to make Islamabad normal even now, then how can you claim that Swat is again normal and peaceful,” the Wali, who also served as the governor of NWFP and Balochistan, said.
During an interview with The News here at his residence, Aurangzeb spoke in detail about the events, which turned Swat into a bloody place: He blamed squarely the Musharraf’s government, Taliban and even political parties for this mess.
About hundreds of thousands of people going back to Swat and elsewhere, after these areas, as the government claimed, were purged of the militants. He asked, “They are returning for what, because there are no basic facilities such as gas, power and water available there.”
To a question, he said the population of Swat and elsewhere had to leave their homes prior to the military operation and they were given very little time to move out. “People never thought of leaving their homes despite the militants’ increasing activities,” he said.
He went to his room and came back during the interview with a bullet in his hand and a sack, which carried shrapnel. The Wali said the bullet had hardly missed his driver’s head a few months back and added many roads and streets were littered with shrapnel even now.
Aurangzeb lamented that the other day, the security forces killed a bearded man, who happened to be one of his servants, saying he knew him well: he had nothing to do with militancy or miscreants.
He accused former president General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf for the mess Pakistan was in today, as he had given into a mere phone call by an American secretary of state instead of holding consultations with political parties and other stakeholders to adopt a dignified course after the 9/11.
Asked was it possible to hold Musharraf accountable for ‘what he had done to this nation, he maintained only the Taliban could take on him. “Musharraf let Taliban gain strength and against it, he pocketed US dollars,” he alleged.
He does not have good words even for Musharraf’s son Bilal: he showed this correspondent a photograph, showing Bilal Musharraf having a business discussion with the chairman of Kingdom Holding Company in the presence of Pakistan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia Shahid Karimullah. Musharraf was president of Pakistan at that time.
“I wonder what the ambassador of Pakistan was doing during a private business meeting. This is a national tragedy, as long as this will go on, I don’t see any chances of betterment,” he said.
The Wali insisted that insurgency was allowed to take roots in Swat on purpose and claimed once he asked an SHO of a police station in Swat why they could not take action against militants and his reply was that higher authorities were averse to crushing them.
However, he was quick to add that Fazlullah had his followers in the region because people were not getting quick justice and in many ways felt deprived. Aurangzeb claimed when his elders ruled Swat, there was complete peace and justice was delivered without delay. He said in many murder cases, judgments were given within 24 hours and the culprits were executed.
“Swat used to be governed by Islamic law, a blend of local customs, and ‘common sense’ as rendered by the ruler. Cases would be decided in one or two hearings, not stretched on for months or years the way they have since the Pakistani judicial system was adopted,” he pointed out.
Aurangzeb never had the chance of ruling Swat, but was allowed by the government to keep using the title ‘Wali’. The 81-year-old follows news reports closely and remains actively in touch with events taking place around the clock.
Inside his spacious drawing room, he has tastefully displayed pictures of notables of the world, including ex-US president John F Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline and there is Aurangzeb’s picture photographed with Manmohan Singh.
Swat damages to be reconciled with donors
ISLAMABAD: Damage assessment in the Malakand Division by calculating the cost of reconstruction of 10,000 to 15,000 housing units, hundreds of educational and health facilities as well as billions of dollars economic losses to inhabitants of the area will be reconciled with the donors’ representatives till end of the month
Authorities have handed over details of the damaged areas of the Malakand Division to the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. The donors’ experts will come up with the exact cost required for rehabilitation and reconstruction by conducting some surveys as well as analysis on the basis of data provided by the government.
In the wake of military operation in Swat, Buner and other areas to flush out the militants, the economy and infrastructure suffered losses. A federal secretary told The News that although a figure of damage assessment surfaced in the range of $2.5 billion but it was not yet endorsed or reconciled by the donors.