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Khost-based refugees from Waziristan seek assistance

Khost-based refugees from Waziristan seek assistance

Oct 10, 2017 - 13:08

KHOST CITY (Pajhwok): Waziristan refugees in the Spera district of southeastern Khost province have asked the Afghan government and NGOs for assistance.

Spira is one of the mountainous and cold districts of Khost province, where hundreds of refugees from Pakistan's volatile tribal region -- the scene of a hige military offensive -- are residing.

Thousands of families have taken refuge in Khost and Paktika provinces after Pakistani forces launched operations in Waziristan across the British-era Durand Line.

One of the refugees, Gul Nawaz Khan, told Pajhwok Afghan News besides a shortage of other things, they were faced with lack of fuel and warm clothing ahead of winter.

He feared they would be flooded by problems in the coming winter if the Afghan government and international aid organisations did not help them. He added tents donated to them in the past were unusable.

“With the arrival of spring, people of the Zadran tribe go to other areas and we live in their homes. But in the winter, they come back and we have to live in tents,” he explained.

In 2014, around 200,000 families fled North Waziristan and arrived in Khost and Paktika provinces after the Pakistan Army launched a major offensive against militants in the tribal areas.

The Afghan government and international aid organisations have provided the refugees with large amounts of aid.

Another refugee, Qadim Wazir, said aid from foreign organisations had come down to zero and their children were in urgent need of healthcare, education and other facilities.

Khost Reugees and Repatriation Director Mohammad Hasham Halim told Pajhwok they had reviewed the refugees' problems and would use all their resources for resolve them.

“UNHCR's local office organises a weekly meeting at the Gulan Camp to hear problems of refugees. But I don't know how they complain about lack of aid.

"We have chalked out a plan in coordination with UNHCR for winter aid, which would be distributed to the refugees soon,” the director continued.

The refugees urged the International Organisation for Migration and UNHCR to continue assisting them.