BANNU: Christians of North Waziristan remain optimistic of returning to their homes despite the ferocity of the in progress military operation carried out against the insurgents occupying their area.
According to an official account by the UNHCR, the Christians IDPs from North Waziristan hope for peace in their area and prefer to return to their homes instead of relocating to other cities of Pakistan. The Pakistan Army launched a major operation called Zarb-e-Azab, against the Taliban in North Waziristan on 15th of July, 2014. As a consequence, mass exodus of people from the area is took place in the days to follow; including 80 Christian families of North Waziristan. According to an estimate 200 Christian and Hindu families from North Waziristan Agency have taken refuge in schools where the government, non-government and UN agencies are serving them by administering emergency relief assistance to them and providing core relief items.
The account voices a 55-year-old Firdous a Christian displaced from his home in North Waziristan Agency. Firdous a retired employee of the Irrigation Department said: We left Miranshah barefoot in the boiling summer heat, and after travelling for two nights, we reached Bannu. We are not comfortable being away from our loved homes. But we did not have any other option but to leave. While explaining the conditions in which he and his family fled from their homes he told that he and his family had taken only the clothes from their homes and nothing else. The wretched family saw bloodshed and deaths as they walked with wounded bare feet to Bannu.
We left our homes because our children got frightened, otherwise we would never think of leaving the village where we were born and raised, he asserted. Years ago his grandparents got settled in North Waziristan Agency. He stated Hindus and Christians settled in North Waziristan Agency live in harmony with the local tribesmen. The Christian man full of patriotism harbours strong affection for his native town Miranshah while he prays for peace in his area. He finds it hard to forget what happened to his area and locals saying: It was heart wrenching yet declares firm faith saying:
I am sure we will see good days again because I love my Waziristan.