BANNU - As the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of North Waziristan are looking for shelters and food, there are dozens of such families who are desperately searching for their missing relatives who have been lost during the mass exodus in the wake of military operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan. These people, with majority of women and children lost contacts with their relatives when fleeing tribesmen were reached at the Saidgai Checkpoint and started waiting for registration.
Maulvi Rizwan Khan, a teacher at Madrassa Haqqania in Azad Mandi Bannu, has established ‘missing person service centre’ at his seminary where he is collecting details from the families whose relatives are missing. He also collects information from people who have sheltered some missing children and women. “With the help of our team, so far 17 stranded individuals have rejoined their families,” he added.
He further said, “More than 120 families have approached us regarding their missing relatives. All the missing are not individuals, even in some cases three to four of the same family are also gone also missed.”
The missing persons cases were more witnessed in Tappi village that falls between Mir Ali and Miranshah. “So far 22 families from Tappi have approached us about their missing relatives,” he said.
According to Madrassa Haqqania, to get information about missing persons, the relatives or those who are sheltering missing persons should contact on these numbers; 0333-9735913, 0333-9725136.
A villager from Mamad Khel Miranshah told The Nation that his father Rasool Khan left along with the entire family for Bannu but he was lost when they reached near Saidgai Checkpoint. “We have no information about his whereabouts since last few days,” he said. At the same way, Qayum Khan of Tappi village is looking for her old mother who has been still missing after searching her for the last many days.
Noor Din was another tribesman who left Datta Khel village for Bannu along with little Muhammad Sudees but according to his relatives, both of them are traceless so far.
According to Pir Aqil Shah, a leader of JUI-F in North Waziristan, said that hundreds of tribesmen are missing but at this moment they are out of the focus of media. “I have knowledge about 600 missing cases. It is very serious issue and will become severe with the passage of time,” he added.
Malak Gul Wali Khan who runs a medical camp in Bakka Khel under the banner of Al-Khidmat said that they have found a number of children looking here and there for their parents. In some cases, women along with their children are missing. “On the other day I found a seven-year-old child who was left behind and our volunteers locate his parent after a long search in Bannu city,” said Malak Gul Wali.
An official of National Disaster Management Authority Brigadier Kamran Zia said, “Yes, such cases have been reported and the issue of missing IDPs is in our notice.”