Pakistan to start repatriation of IDPs next month: Gen. Raheel SharifIslamabad: Pakistan Army Chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif, on Sunday said that repatriation of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) as the result of a major military offensive in North Waziristan tribal area will begin next
Islamabad: Pakistan Army Chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif, on Sunday said that repatriation of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) as the result of a major military offensive in North Waziristan tribal area will begin next month.
The military launched the long awaited operation in June 2014 after peace talks with the Taliban faced a deadlock.
Nearly 90 percent areas have been cleared of the Pakistani Taliban and foreign militants, Xinhua reported citing security officials as saying.
The security forces have also strengthened their control over the region which had been under the control of several Taliban groups and their foreign hosts.
The government said that around 1 million people had left homes as a result of the operation, majority of whom now live in Bannu district near North Waziristan. Many have also moved to other cities and even across the border into Afghanistan.
The Army Chief told a high level meeting in Peshawar that a phased return of the displaced persons will start next month.
"The Chief of the Army Staff assured the forum that army will join hands with government and tribal areas administration to expedite the return of displaced persons as per already prepared plan in phases, beginning next month, and ensure a comprehensive resettlement," an army statement said.
The Army Chief reviewed progress of the military operation and said with the "unflinching resolve and courage, our proud tribesmen and people of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province stood up to atrocities of the terrorists, pushed them back and marginalized them in the society".
Gen. Raheel also discussed an anti-terrorism plan that will be implemented after debate in the parliament. The parliament will begin discussion on the "National Action Plan" to effectively deal with terrorism that includes establishment of army-led special courts for the speedy trial of "hardcore terrorists".
He assured the forum of army's full support for judicious and speedy implementation of the anti-terror plan to eliminate not only the terrorists but also their abettors, facilitators and sympathizers from entire province and the tribal regions.