1.6 million Pak IDPs have returned to their homes in Malakand

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Islamabad, Aug. 28 (ANI): Almost 1.6 million of the 2.3 million refugees, who were displaced during Pakistani military's offensive against the Taliban in Malakand division, have returned to their homes.

The Dawn quoted United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator Martin Mogwanja, as saying that attacks by militants in certain pockets was a major concern for returning people.

He added that the number of returning families had decreased from 1,400 to 500 in a week, and extensive security checks at points of entry to the Malakand division was causing major delays in movement of goods.

During his recent visit, Mogwanja assessed the on-ground situation and met government officials and personnel of national and international non-government agencies.

He noted that the area was facing food shortage because sowing and harvesting of crops had been severely affected by fighting between troops and militants in May and June.

Currently, 454 schools occupied by the displaced people are being vacated in order to resume schooling.

Mannel Bessler, the chief of the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Pakistan said that only 68 per cent of the 542 million dollars pledged by various countries for the displaced people had been received so far.

"We have meetings with district coordination officer, officials of other line departments and representatives of local and foreign NGOs to ensure our continuous presence in the area," Bessler said. (ANI)

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