Thousands of Bugtis waiting to return home

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QUETTA: Thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs), women and children among them, who had migrated to Sindh and Punjab because of a military operation in Dera Bugti nine years ago, are waiting at Doli checkpost and Kashmore for the government permission to return home. Having started their journey back home on Jan 17, they were stopped at Kashmore the next day. Security officials said they could move ahead only after getting themselves registered. The leader of the IDPs, Nawabzada Shahzain Bugti, a grandson of the slain nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, refused. He said there was no need for registration as they were Pakistani citizens and returning to their native places.

Later, he agreed to meet the registration condition on the directives of the Balochistan High Court and led the first group of the IDPs to Dera Bugti on Saturday, leaving behind thousands in the open with no facility coming from the government or any other organisation. The provincial government allowed 100 IDPs to enter Dera Bugti district a day after their registration and checking their belongings.

Another convoy of 100 people reached Suit and Dera Bugti on Sunday.

“Around 4,000 IDPs are still waiting at Kashmore,” Dhabi Bakes, a witness, told Dawn over telephone.

Mir Teri Maori, a former MPA, complained that the process of registration and checking was slow.

“Registration and checking of belongings of around 4,000 IDPs would take over a month,” he said and urged the government to set up more registration counters.

Shahzain Bugti, the provincial president of his own faction of the Jamhoori Witan Party, said: “We are very happy to reach our native town after nine long years.” There will be no law and order problem because of this development, he added.