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March 23, 2017
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FATA tribespeople deprived of compensation to reconstruct houses

PESHAWAR: The blame game between the FATA Secretariat and political administrations of tribal agencies over survey forms for compensation has left many displaced people living under the open sky even in their hometowns.

"We have already been through many difficulties during our days of displacement," a local told Geo News. "Now that we have returned to our native areas the political administration is creating hurdles in the construction and reconstruction of our houses."

These affected people are sans shelter despite having a house as they await the survey teams, who according to FATA Disaster Management Authority, should have been sent by the political administrations of the respective tribal agencies.

The federal government had announced Rs400,000 as compensation for houses destroyed during the operations against militancy, while Rs160,000 were announced for damaged houses. But the amount will not be provided to the affected families until surveys are carried out. Till then these people cannot even start construction on their own with whatever handful they can arrange as that would make their house ineligible for the compensation payment.

Hanging in midair

When asked, FATA Disaster Management Authority officials said the political administration of the tribal agencies were responsible for the surveys. There is also no dearth of survey forms with the agency officials, according to officials of FATA Secretariat Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Unit (RRU).

As per the FATA Secretariat, they have given 19,052 forms to the political administration of South Waziristan, 7,016 to North Waziristan, 6,153 Khyber Agency, 5,600 to Orakzai Agency while 3,000 to Kurram Agency. Out of the count, the political administration of South Waziristan has used 17,843 forms, 4,400 of Khyber, 3,500 of Orakzai and the political administration of North Waziristan used 1,824 forms, sending back 1,500 to RRU.  

When the political administration was asked about the undone forms, they said they do not have the staff required for the survey. But, according to documents of the FATA Secretariat, the political administration of North Waziristan has been given Rs2.23 million, while political administrations of Khyber, Kurram, Orakzai and South Waziristan agencies have been given around Rs11 million altogether so that the political administration cannot complain of not having resources to hire staff.

The names and period of the operations are different, but the problems posed to tribespeople in their aftermath are all the same.

The officials in the Governor House, FATA Secretariat and FDMA take credit of sending the displaced people back to their homes, but they seem unaware of the issues faced by people returning to their areas where havoc has been wreaked due to militancy and the subsequent war to counter it.

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