Pak Govt. allowing refugees to return to Taliban-infested Buner

Posted By: Staff
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Buner (Pakistan), July 21 (ANI): Despite the continuing Taliban presence in Pakistan's Buner district, Pakistani military is allowing many displaced residents of the area to return to their homes.

"More than 100 Taliban are here right now in Malakpur village. There is so much fear that we cannot speak to neighbours - even husbands cannot say something to wives," the Christian Science Monitor quoted one Buner resident, as saying.

According to sources, the militants set up barricades and are checking identification cards to locate their enemies - officials, party workers, and tribal leaders.

Many Internally Displaced Persons of the Buner district have expressed concern over the fact that the government might be urging people to return home too quickly, just weeks after the military ended its three-month-long offensive to clear the Taliban from the area.

However, they don't want to stay in government camps, which have dismal living conditions.

"We are praying to God that we don't come back to this camp. My brother said, 'Don't come here, fighting will start'. But if the government gives permission, we will go back, because here is no food, no water. If I die, I want to do it at home," " said Bakhti Mullah, an IDP in Chota Lahore camp.

Mullah has heard the military will launch operations to clear the area soon. But there are troubling reports of military inaction.

"A few days ago, people went to the Army check post and the Army said, 'Anyone looting, you have to kill him and we will take responsibility,' " says the resident.

The military's spokesman flatly rejects this.

"That's not possible. There are certain areas that require clearance in the suburbs and countryside, and constantly the military is going after them. Why wouldn't the military go into these areas and go after Taliban where they appear?," said General Athar Abbas. (ANI)

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