Speakers of a roundtable 'Repatriation of IDP's: Status and the Way Forward’ termed restoration of law and order and provision of basic facilities for returnees vital for rehabilitation of the people of FATA while advising for a phased withdrawal of armed forces from the region.
The national roundtable, which was inaugurated by Prof Dr S Minhajul Hasan, dean, University of Peshawar, was jointly organized by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Islamabad and Pakistan Study Centre, University of Peshawar, on December 6, 2016.
Rustam Shah Mohmand, ex Pakistani ambassador to Afghanistan and former chief secretary and commissioner of Afghan refugees, was the keynote speaker while the other prominent speakers included Prof Dr Fakhrul Islam, director, Pakistan Study Centre, Khalid Rahman, director general, IPS, Prof Dr Nasreen Ghufran, chairperson, Department of International Relations, University of Peshawar, Dr Qibla Ayaz, former vice-chancellor of the University of Peshawar, Dr Babar Shah, director, Centre for Regional Studies, Brigadier (r) Said Nazir, Mairajul Hamid Nasri, research team member, IPS, among others.
Speaking of the repatriation, the speakers saw both prospects and problems in the process. Regarding the model of Swat IDPs as a success story, which in their view could be replicated in the tribal areas as well, they pointed that presently the FATA tribesmen were facing severe problems on their return to the native towns such as ownership disputes of their houses, shops and properties.
The speakers strongly felt the need of implementing National Action Plan in letter and spirit, also proposing the launch of a comprehensive infrastructural development scheme in FATA having special focus on provision of quality education and making robust attempt to explore and exploit minerals in the region to help the inhabitants overcome poverty.
The speakers took stock of the prevailing situation in FATA from various angles and discussed several problems and prospects of IDPs’ repatriation and rehabilitation in the region. The roundtable also finalized recommendations over the issue which were set to be documented and transmitted to the concerned quarters soon after.