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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2643

IDPs at Jalozai camp, Nowshera receiving threats from Taliban

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

Peshawar, 15 May, ( internally displaced people from northwest Pakistan sheltered at tented camps in Nowshera are faced with threats from Taliban.

The Internally Displaced People from Swat, Dir and Buner camped at Jalozai Nowshera have complained that armed and masked miscreants are threatening them.

The Swati dwellers of the Jalozai IDPs camp in Nowshera say armed masked men are threatening and harassing them for the last two nights.

“Masked people are visiting the camp. The other night, they were whistling and shouting from the canals and the ravages behind the camp. The last night they were armed and had also dogs with them. They also sneaked into a number of tents which is a matter of concern for Pakhtuns like us. Our pride is first and all other things come after that. So we shall demand of the authorities to arrange security for the camp”, said one of the IDPs from Shangla district.

Some of the IDPS say the militants and extremists elements have also melted away among the camps’ dwellers and are threatening the people.

The camps elders have appealed to the government to provide them proper protection against these elements.

Ibrahim hailing from Malokabad area of Mingora said, "There is no security. Yesterday armed masked men were roaming in the camp and people are terrified. We have escaped from Swat due to the military operation and now these masked armed men are roaming in the camp. So the government must provide us security."

The security arrangements at the camp are not sufficient enough to cope with the situation as it already houses more than two lakh displaced people from Bajaur and Mohmand Agency.

About 2000 Swati families have been registered at the Jalozai camp while at least 100 families are arriving daily as camps in Mardan, Swabi and Malakand are filled to capacity.

The affectees say only a few policemen and the staff police of Afghan Refugee Commissionerate are present during the day while at night there is no security at the sprawling camp.

The commissioner of Afghan Refugee Commissonerate Syed Jamaluddin says they are devising a mechanism to deal with such threats.

‘For internal security we have made arrangements and the local people are employed as their salaries are also less so we have engaged them here. We are also planning to engage volunteers from the Camp so I will discuss it today. For external security the police patrol at night. I will also request the DPO to increase the external security and patrolling,’ Syed Jamalud Din, Commissoner Afghan Refugee Commissionerate said.

Over 1.5 million Swatis have escaped death and destruction after the increased militants’ activities and the military operation in the scenic Malakand Valley.

Displaced by war and conflict, these innocent people from troubled areas are not only facing other problems, but they are also not safe from the Taliban threat even at these tent age villages, hundreds of miles away from their abodes in North Western Pakistan.

It is feared that if the government failed to provide adequate security to the IDPs these camps can become the breeding sites for the militants again.

Most of these camps are located in major cities of NWFP like Swabi, Mardan, Nowshera, Charsadda and Peshawar which are already faced with the threats from militants from time to time.

The militants’ activity if any going on in the camps could become a serious security threat to the urban population of the NWPF if not checked in time.

- Asian Tribune -

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