Govt given a week to provide Jalozai IDPs with facilities
PESHAWAR, July 11: The Peshawar High Court on Wednesday directed the Fata Secretariat’s additional chief secretary and finance secretary to provide all facilities to internally displaced persons residing in Jalozai Camp within a week.
A two-member bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan and Justice Sajjad Hassan Shah took notice of inadequate facilities at the camp and ordered the two officers to visit the Jalozai Camp within three days and assess basic necessities needed for the IDPs as mentioned in an earlier court order.
The bench ordered that all the necessary things should be provided immediately, but not later than seven days. In particular, it directed that chilled drinking water and sufficient number of ceiling or pedestal fans should be provided because the month of Ramazan was approaching.
The court put on notice deputy attorney general Mohammad Iqbal Mohmand, who was present in the courtroom, and asked him to convey the court orders to the officials.
The chief justice had taken suo motu notice of the issue and on April 24 ordered the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) to provide all required facilities to the IDPs at Jalozai Camp till their return to their hometowns when the operation was stopped and peace restored there. In that hearing the PDMA chief coordinator Faiz Mohammad had briefed the court about the facilities at Jalozai Camp, saying they would provide around 11,000 electric fans to the displaced families. However, despite passage of over two months the IDPs continue to bear the scorching heat without fans.
While provincial home secretary Azam Khan was appearing in cases of missing persons on Wednesday, the bench reminded him of the plight of IDPs, especially those from Bara, Khyber Agency. The chief justice pointed out that in earlier order the court had directed the PDMA in clear terms about ensuring provision of electricity, medicines, chilled water and electric fans besides availability of health professionals and teachers at the camp.
The chief justice observed that they had learnt that the IDPs still lacked these basic facilities. The bench asked the home secretary that it would be appropriate that the court would direct him to provide the needed items to the IDPs on emergency basis, whereas the PDMA would be ordered to pay him the money within 15 days. The bench observed that if the PDMA failed to pay the money its accounts and assets would be attached.
Mr Khan pointed out that a body by the name of Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) had been set up for the IDPs of Federally Administered Tribal Areas. He said that if the court issued the said orders it would turn the FDMA redundant. He said that though the provincial government had been supporting the IDPs, most of them belonged to tribal areas and it was the responsibility of the FDMA to look after them.
The bench considered it appropriate to issue directives to the additional chief secretary and finance secretary of Fata Secretariat.