A brief Report IDPs Children Of North Waziristan
Reported by: Atif Rashid Khattak
9th July, 2014
North Waziristan is one of the seven Agencies of Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan FATA.
Basically Waziristan has been administratively divided into two parts one is called South Waziristan and other is known as North Waziristan.
North and South Waziristan agencies were formed in 1896 by The English then rulers of undivided India.
This is a mountainous region and bordering with Afghanistan which covers an area of 11,585 square kilometers.
Miranshah is the head quarters of North Waziristan where political Administration and its offices are present.
Total distance between Bannu a settled district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and North Waziristan is not more than 30 kilometers.
It is just one hour drive from Bannu to Miramshah in peace time while in present situations it takes days and nights to reach Bannu.
In North Waziristan two main Pashtun tribes are residing. They are Wazir and Dawar.
Waziristan became very famous after 2001 when foreign forces came to Afghanistan to flush out terrorists from there.
It is believed that thousands of foreign ethnic and local Taliban took refuge in Waziristan.
Here this should be clarified that the terrorists were not invited rather they came themselves and made people of Waziristan as hostage. May be few people might have sided with them for their material gain etc.
but the rest were against advent of terrorists to Waziristan.
For the last 10 years Pakistan military is present in Waziristan and several operations against terrorists have been launched but none has shown any good result.
This time Government has taken a decision to wipe out all terrorists from Waziristan and clear the area from terrorism.
Pakistan Army launched an operation in recent days on June 15, 2014 in Waziristan called Zarb-i-Azb.
This operation has also sparked humanitarian crisis. According to an estimate by Afghanistan government over 60,000 people have fled to Afghanistan to take refuge there.
The number of people displaced from North Waziristan has increased to over 455000 people with over 74 percent of those displaced, women and children.
Only on June 23, 2014 after operation launched on 15th of June, 2014 total families were displaced from North Waziristan two sub division Mir Ali and Miran shah. The break up is as given.
Registered Families Male Female Children Total Individuals
78569 208,545 233,819 355,894 778,258
Out of which only 58 families opted to stay in a camp set up by Government for IDPs at Bakakhel an area of FR-Bannue which is a tribal territory.
Situations of children
When IDPs at a camp were asked about situations of children in present day crisis, their problems and needs they replied like it.
A center at Madrassa Haqqania has been established for children where they are provided shelter, food and lodging. As for as 520 children are missing. Only 140 of them have been recovered so for and the rest are not known as where they have gone to.
It means 106 children are reported to have gone missing. More than 100 children died during travelling.
Now a day there is summer and weather is very harsh.
Sun is scorching children. Dehydration issues erupted and many children were perished without being noticed. No one cares for children. In wars and conflicts women and children are prone. They are targeted.
Same is case with us and our children who are very much vulnerable, Said one of the IDPs without disclosing his name due to fear of both military and militants and political administration who have directed orders to them not to come closer with people who ask you questions.
So most of the participants avoided interacting with us to talk clearly because Damocles sword seemed hanging over their heads.
One of the participants said that a tractor trolley was taking three families which over tuned during its journey from North Waziristan to Bannu.
On way it overturned and immediately 4 children died and 16 other are still lying in Hospital. Name of Hospital is Khalifa Gul Nawaz Medical Complex which is a famous hospital of Bannu.
In Bannu there is no electricity and load shedding is very frequent so health condition of children is worst.
Due to harsh summer weather many children died. Thousand suffer from diarrhea, dehydration, scabies, and many more diseases.
Children are wearing chappals which are also harmful for children. Children also lack food as food is not sufficient for families and in package children have been neglected.
Their priority needs include protection, food, shelter, health, water, sanitation, fans, solar system, hygiene kits etc.
Due to restrictions on National and International NGOs and donor agencies situations of children can not be improved so government should be requested to allow donor organizations to extend assistance to IDPs in general and children of IDPs in particular.
Total number of children of IDPs are 2.5 million so for said Arif Durrani an ex MPA of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and Nephew of Akram Khan Durrani former Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Children suffer most. We know there are problems of every thing and government has imposed restriction on NGOs which speaks apathy on part of government. He said children need dry milk, nets to be protected from mosquitoes, food, biscuits, garments, shoes, schools, drinking water, solar system and protection houses in case of orphans or missing.
Most of children who are orphans they neither have nether families nor are having CNIC. So they are not registered. Their registration is needed.
Those IDPs who have come on straight road from North Waziristan to Bannu and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa they have been formally registered but there are thousand and thousand who have come through mountains or other ways and roads they have not been registered. They need registration.
Their children who are thousand in numbers should also be registered immediately as they need food, cash and protection. Missing and orphan children issue is alarming because in such like situations children traffickers also become active.
They catch such children especially girls children and use them for their nefarious designs and vested interest. Government needs mechanism for it because it is a serious issue and up till now no action has been taken so for and no seriousness has been shown in this regard to tackle this important problem confronting children.
A special distribution point is needed to be opened for children. Pediatricians and psychologists are also needed for children to bring them out of trauma. Many children are still afraid of military personnel when they look at them plying on roads.
Special hospitals for children and women are needed to be opened immediately. UNICEF should be allowed to work for children welfare in caps and other places where IDPs children are living with their families.
Many children are stuck up along with their children in North Waziristan who could not find way to come out or many are living in mountainous areas who did not understand situations. They are in their homes. Government is not allowing them to come out of their homes.
They have nothing to eat. Their children are suffering from food shortage, medicines, disease, etc. There are males who have gone to North Waziristan from Bannu to bring the left over members of the families the government has clamped curfew for indefinite time and they are stuck up there. The children are suffering here in Bannu and male members are confined to their homes in North Waziristan who can not come out of their houses. No there is neither food with them nor other edible so there is a human crisis.
This needs to be resolved immediately.
Officials of one of the aid agencies(Red Cross) working there on condition of not disclosing their names as they are not authorized to talk to media or other who work for welfare of children at camp said, that they have treated only 650 children between 0-15 years so for.
He said respiratory tract infections are common due to long travelling and dust in area. Diarrhea, scabies, and other skin related diseases are common. Besides, trauma centers should also be established, milk, food items and many such things which are related to children are needed to be provided to children.
Toys are also very precious things for children which should also be provided.
Issues and recommendation regarding children of IDPs
1. They need food, drinking water, nets to be protected from mosquitoes and dry milk.
2. They need hospitals and doctors to be treated as most of the children are suffering from diarrhea, dehydration and skin diseases
3. They need pediatricians and psychologists
4. Trauma centers are needed to be set up.
5. Unregistered children especially orphans who are having no family should be registered and all needs and facilities should be provided to them.
6. Children need protection as most of families are unprotected because they have nothing to protect themselves.
7. Most of children are missing. Special centers are needed to be set up to help them recover and meet them with dears and nears.
8. Sports equipments and toys should be provided to them.
9. Children also need to be protected sexually, emotionally and physically.
10. Schools are needed to be established and books, copies, bags and stationery etc should be provided.
11. Solar fans and solar energy system is one of the foremost need of children as load shedding has bewildered children.
12. Child Rights related NGOs and donor agencies including UNICEF, Alif Ailaan, Save The Children, Rutger WPF, Plan International, And Ugood (United Global Organization) should be allowed to work there for welfare and protection of children of IDPs.
Note: This Report Was written by on 9th july when i was gone there..
H.No: 594 B, Street No: 29 G 10 / 2 Islamabad
Bannu University Of Science & Technology
Ex Chief Minister Of KPK Akram Khan Durrani Hujra
Bannu KPk , Pakistan 0928
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