Swat refugees selling Pak Government rations to survive

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Peshawar, June 29 (ANI): Pakistani people diaplaced due to ongoing offensive of the Army against the Taliban in the Swat Valley are selling relief goods to pay for their routine expenses.

Each of the displaced families having, seven members, has been receiving 40kg wheat flour, 5kg sugar, 10kg rice, 5kg pulses, 5kg ghee, four soaps and 1kg dry milk per month from the government since May 13.

According to the UN estimates, 87 per cent of the internally displaced persons live with host communities in schools, hospitals and houses and, so, were being provided food by their hosts. Therefore, they receive relief goods, but sell the same in local markets to pay for other expenses.

"We sell the relief items because my mother is suffering from diabetes and she needs regular medication. We are not getting medicines from anyone," said Gul Rahim, 38, a labour from Saidu Sharif now living in a school in Par Hoti, Mardan, along with his wife, three children and mother.

The Dawn quoted him as saying that he was selling the relief goods to local shopkeepers at throwaway prices, but said he had to purchase medicines for his ailing mother for which he had no other option.

"I receive the stuff every month and make Rs.3,000 from its sale. This month, I bought a pedestal fan and a gas cylinder for cooking," said 21-year-old Javed Ali from Ambela in Buner.

Mohammad Idrees Khan, nazim of the Rustam Union Council where an estimated 30,000 IDPs from Buner and Swat have taken refuge, said that the displaced people had been getting a lot of relief goods at the start of the conflict, but now they were entirely dependent on the aid given by the government.

Jamil Rehman of Kabal, Swat, said he purchased books and notebooks for his two children from the money he received from the sale of wheat and ghee last month. "Next month, I will buy clothes and some other things for my wife and children," he added. (ANI)

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