NATIONAL IDPs CONFERENCE
JUNE 24, 2009
IDPs RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS
921 Street No.80 Sector I-8/3 Islamabad
Ph: 051-4430150 Fax: 051-4435861
International Human Rights Observer (IHRO) is working together with
Government, United Nations and other International institutions to
promote and protect the basic fundamental human rights for the masses
declared in the universal charter of human rights of United Nations to
build a global village of lasting peace, social and economic justices
IHRO is an independent, non-political, non-profitable and
non-governmental organization registered under social welfare act 1961
in Pakistan and incorporated in USA and UK. It has a network of 53,000
volunteers in Pakistan that play a vital role against human rights
violation on grass root level since its creation. IHRO is mainly
dealing with the Human Rights Monitoring, Human Rights Education,
Sustainable Development, Research and Human Rights Awareness through
national and international Conferences, Workshops and Seminars.
The Government of Pakistan (GOP) started its military operation in
Swat District to stop militancy in Malakand Division. The military
operation is resulting in huge migration of masses to down districts
of the province and other parts the country. Government of Pakistan’s
figures shows the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has
risen to an estimated 3.584 million. The government has established
camps in Mardan, Nowshera, Peshawar, Charsada, Swabi, Haripur and
Abbotabad. According to a survey, the recent turmoil in Pakistan has
resulted in one of the largest internal migration of the century.
The situation still remains unpredictable. Many civilians are trapped
in the conflict zone and unable to move, on the other hand, small
numbers of IDPs have left camps and returned to their villages. 75 -
80% of the IDPs remain out of the camp. According to the report issued
by UN-OCHA the
registration of some 1.9 million IDPs has so far been confirmed by
Pakistani authorities, of whom about 260,000 IDPs are living in 27
camps and the remainder with host families. Concerns have been raised
regarding the establishment of several spontaneous camps in Upper Dir,
and the possibility of others to follow in areas not easily accessible
by the humanitarian community. There are presently 10 Registration
Centers and 34 Humanitarian Hubs, which distributed 47,000 MT of food
and NFIs to IDPs living in and outside camps. Ten more distribution
points were inside IDP camps. Precautionary measures have been taken
in host communities to prevent any outbreak of acute watery diarrhea (AWD)
and other illnesses that could occur with the upcoming monsoon season.
In the light of
above analysis situation, IHRO felt to call National and International
agencies and government bodies for better suggestions and
recommendations for coming relief, recovery and rehabilitation work
The Emergency Relief Unit and Executive Committee of International
Human Rights Observer (IHRO) decided to organize National Internally
Displaced Persons (IDPs) Conference on June 24, 2009 in Best Western
The main goal of the Conference was:
“To help in rehabilitation and to devise a comprehensive relief policy
for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of Swat, Buner and others”
The main objectives of National IDPs Conference 2009
To identify the problems faced by IDPs of Swat and Buneer
To create Public awareness among IDPs regarding their rights
To explore partnerships and linkages among different stakeholders
for IDPs Project
To promote rights-based approach to policies programs, and Services
for IDPs in Pakistan
223 participants including Government Senior Officials, civil society
advocacy groups, NGOs, religious groups, federations, trade unions,
representatives of political parties, diplomats, intellectuals,
officials from private sector, international and regional
organizations and students from different universities participated in
this important conference.
Conference was started with Recitation of Holy Quran. Dr. Khalid Aftab
Sulheri, President of IHRO welcomed the distinguished guests. In his
opening speech, he urged participants to take actions and step forward
to raising the voices of IDPs by actively participate in the
Syed Mumtaz Alam Gillani
Syed Mumtaz Alam Gillani, Federal Minister for Human Rights was
invited as the chief Guest and speaker in the Conference. He
appreciated the work of International Human Rights Observer (IHRO) and
congratulated IHRO for organizing National IDPs Conference. He said
that Federal Government is trying its best to facilitate the IDPs on
each and every level adopting the vision of the President and Prime
Minister of Pakistan through its cabinet. He further said that single
terrorist should not be spare in the region and no compromise with the
terrorists will be considered as per policy of Government. He visited
many camps and witnessed a big crisis in hands which cannot be coped
with the existing resources of the government. He noted down all the
complaints and suggestions and assured the participants that he will
take notice of the suggestions made in the conference and all the
actions will be shared with all the agencies working with IDPs. He
appreciated Government, NGO, INGOs, UN and other agencies working to
facilitate IDPs and favour Human Rights. He especially appreciated the
work of grass root level organizations.
Dr. Z. U. Khan
Dr. Z. U. Khan, Chairman IHRO –Senior Advisor to the President AJK
preside the National IDPs Conference. He said that we all have to come
forward to perform our role for the Internally Displaced Persons of
Swat and our organization will continue its efforts to promote the
rights of the IDPs within policies. Dr. Khan nominated Dr. Maria
Sultan, Director of SASSI as the focal point of Relief, Reconstruction
and Rehabilitation Network of IDPs. He urged IHRO and its partners to
work with the Government on the Human Rights policies of IDPs.
Dr. Maria Sultan
Maria Sultan, Director General of the South Asian Strategic Stability
Institute (SASSI) is a specialist in South Asian nuclear arms control
issues, disarmament, and weapon systems development and has published
widely in academic journals and the South Asian media. While
addressing to the participants of the Conference, she said that lesson
should be learned from the crisis faced by the nation as they
witnessed the biggest migration in the history of Pakistan of
internally displaced persons. Basic items should be provided to the
IDPs and IDPs need to be protected, not be discriminated. IDPs have
right of respectful life. She suggested that Government should
coordinate with other agencies working for IDPs and coordinating
agency should be declared by the Government. She stressed that
budgetary amount fixed by the Government for IDPs is not sufficient
the purpose. Level of national and international contribution is not
enough and civil military elaboration is also required. She further
said that rehabilitation strategy should be developed in collaboration
with the agencies working with for IDPs. She mentioned five sectors
which needed main focus are construction, livelihood, Education, local
government to monitor the rehabilitation process and base line survey
of the affected areas.
Hashim Babar is Additional Secretary General of Awami National Party (ANP).
While addressing to the participants of the Conference regarding Peace
Deal in Swat, he said peace deal was not controversial as it provided
many opportunities to the whole nation. We have to change the mindset
of the people about so called religious leaders (Mullahs). When
indigenous forces are failed to provide protection military is called
to take back the land which was the case with Swat, Buneer, and Dir.
When addressing on the issue of IDPs, he said if we lose our trust on
IDPs, we will be facing many problems. Transparency of external and
internal policies regarding IDPs issue will lead to the failure of
insurgencies. While referring to the effects of terrorism in Pakistan
he said that international funding agencies are not willing to provide
enough funds to the Government of Pakistan due to terrorist activities
in Pakistan but they can directly forward aid to help IDPs. Time is
less and residents of Malakand who cannot survive the hot climate, are
suffering from harsh weather and lack of support from other provinces.
Furthermore, he appreciated the work of Human Right Organizations
especially female organizations on IDPs.
Mr. Sheikh Mansoor, representative of Pakistan Peoples Party shared
the policy of Pakistan Peoples Party and its Government. According to
him, PPPP is working hard to promote the relief efforts on
organization level and workers of party throughout the country are
participating day and night for the philanthropy work for the IDPs.
Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman, representative of Jamat-e-Islami Pakistan was also
invited as the Guest Speaker of the Conference. While addressing to
the participants, he said that IDPs are the affectees and human. He
stated that Jamat-e-Islami is not supporting terrorism but working
against terrorism. They bring people from bullet to ballet.
Iftikhar ur Rehman
Mr. Iftikhar ur Rehman, Chief Executive of Community Uplift Program
(CUP), Pakistan said that our main focus should be on how to help
IDPs, leaving political divide behind and working on same agenda. It’s
the responsibility of Government of NWFP to facilitate IDPs and
providing facts and figures regarding IDPs and inform INGO & NGOs on
how to provide further facilitation to IDPs.
Syed Naseer Ahmad Gillani
Syed Naseer Ahmad Gillani, Chairman of Pakistan Water Partnership
shared a brief presentation of PWP work on Initiative for Provision of
Water and Sanitation Facilities for IDPs. He also shared future
prospects of the PWP for the facilitation of the IDPs on WATSAN.
Shafique Chaudhry, Coordinator of Parliamentarian Commission for Human
Rights said that Guiding Principles on IDPs should be consulted by the
agencies working with
to judge their activities. He mentioned a few cases of discrimination
faced in the camps by the IDPs and highlighted those as violation of
Guiding Principles on IDPs. Similarly lack of transportation of IDPs
from their villages to the camps is also violation of the Guiding
Principles on IDPs.
Syed Ihsan Ullah Waqas
Syed Ihsan Ullah Waqas, General Secretary of Al-Kidmat Foundation was
also present at the Conference. He shared the activities of Al-Kidmat
Foundation with the participants. He said that IDPs camps were mostly
managed by Al-Kidmat Foundation. 17 medical camps and 2 temporary
hospitals were also arranged by Al-Kidmat Foundation. Referring to a
survey, he said 6.3% population living in camps and much of the
population living with the Pakhtun families in NWFP. 600 families are
provided with basic necessities by Al-Kidmat Foundation. Trucks of
different items also arrived at the camps from different cities of
Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan. Al-Kidmat Foundations Volunteers’ are
also working all over the country for the cause of IDPs. Many
international organizations work in partnership with Al Kidmat
Anayat Ullah, Ex. Minister for Health while referring to the
difficulties faced by IDPs said that exact data of IDPs is not present
with NADRA. Similarly female headed families are facing problems as
females don’t have their identification cards. Distribution points of
WFP food packages are either too far and too less, packages containing
only of wheat and ghee. This issue was also raised in UN Cluster
meetings. Females in camps can’t come out of their tents and hence
facing suffocation. Medical camps for off camps IDPs are badly needed.
Policy makers should respond to this issue as soon as possible. People
still stuck in Malakand is facing different problems as well. He
further suggested that return of IDPs to Buneer and other IDPs should
be according to a proper plan.
Few other speakers also addressed to the conference including Raja
Rizwan Ashfaq, Program coordinator from Islamic Relief, Dr. Seeme
Mallick Senior Research Fellow at Mahbub- Ul- Haq Human Development
Centre, Dr. Tasneem Kousar from World Human Rights Organization, Raja
Javed Bhatti Coordinator Pukar – MKRF, and gave their suggestions on
how to improve lives of IDPs.
Abdul Sattar Edhi-Chairman Edhi Foundation
Founder President of Edhi Foundation, Abdul Sattar Edhi was unable to
participate in the conference but he sent his inclusive message for
the IDPs Conference which said that we should support the homeless
people of Swat, Buneer, Dir and Malakand in such a way that they
should not lose their integrity. IDPs are already cleared about their
rights. Edhi Foundation is working for IDPs from day one with the
support of the Pakistani nation. He also appreciated the efforts of
IHRO for arranging conference on the issue of IDPs.
Lt. General Nadeem Ahmad Chairman Special Support Group
Lt. General Nadeem Ahmad, Chairman Special Support Group was also
requested to attend the Conference as special guest and speaker but he
was unable to participate due to his busy schedule. IHRO received his
short appreciation letter for the organizing the Conference.
DOCUMENTARY ON IDPS
A Comprehensive Documentary on IDPs, developed by Al-Kidmat Foundation
was also shared with the participants during the Conference.
IHRO also arranged a particular session for the IDPs. More than 100
IDPs participated in the conference and shared their views with the
participants and Federal Minister for Human Rights. Following
suggestions and recommendations were shared:
WASH tube wells for host communities should be build.
Benazir Income Support Program & other related programs should be
started for IDPs.
On time Registration of IDPs by NADRA should be done. Name of the late
and missing persons must be included in the NADRA registration.
Education fee should be exempted of IDPs studying in colleges and
Language problem is faced by most of the IDPs as very few people
working in camps know their language.
Central government and federal government should work in collaboration
to improve the conditions of IDPs.
Walks on Human Rights of IDPs should be organized.
Proper medical facilities should be available for all IDPs
Resettlement program should be started as soon as possible with the
consultation of the IDPs.
Women IDPs are sitting in the
Concluding Points of the Conference
Following were the concluding points of the conference:
National IDPs Conference endorsed the efforts by the Government of
Pakistan for the IDPs of Malakand through Provisional Government,
Special Services Group and other resources. Direct visits of different
Federal Ministers and Head of political parties were also appreciated
in the Conference.
Comprehensive National Anti-Terrorism Strategy must be established
within Parliament and out of parliament. All stake holders should be
part of it.
As IDPs rights are Human Rights according to the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights of the United Nations and other treaties, therefore
Conference demands an immediate National Policy for the IDPs.
International Guiding Principles for IDPs must be considered in all
phases of relief, rehabilitation and resettlement.
Social sector must be included in all phases of work for IDPs
Water, Sanitation and other hygienic issues of IDPs should be resolved
on urgent bases to save them from different diseases.
Women, Children and aged people must be priority in all relief and
NADRA should register the names of missing and late IDPs with Special
All partners on Anti-Terrorism must be taken into the confidence for
more stubborn stance against terrorism.
More Fund raising and advocacy Conferences for affected people should
be managed on national and International level.
National Anti-Terrorism Commission should be established.
IHRO President Dr.Khalid Aftab Sulheri concluded the Conference with
“Basic human rights of IDPs of Malakand are affecting. Government with
NGOs, donor agencies, and other institutions should develop a National
Policy for IDPs and respect the Guiding Principles of IDPs. He
appreciated the work of Government, NGOs, INGOs, Donor Agencies and
other agencies working for IDPs and insist on continue working for the