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Internally Displaced or disowned by the State?

Internally displaced persons are people that have had to leave their homes and the place of their birth due to conflict and it is one of the measures that can be used to judge the severity of a conflict. In Pakistan, there are about 1.2 million people who face displacement due to conflict (UN 2009). Leaving the area of the conflict to avoid being caught in the fire is a method that has been used by civilians throughout time while a lot of international attention is given to refugees in foreign countries, not enough attention is paid to people who relocate within the borders of the same country. The responsibility of the state towards them and how their life is impacted due to the conflict and subsequent displacement. In Pakistan, most of the people become displaced due to the armed conflict between the Taliban and the Pakistani military, particularly in the Waziristan region. According to a UN report it is the largest movement of people in Pakistan since 1947. Most of the IDPs were living in the host communities as well as the government settlement camps with the idea that they will go back to their own community as soon as the conflict was over.

Among the displaced population, almost 80% consist of children of school-going age, and the conflict itself as well as the resulting state of homelessness and displacement has a huge negative impact on the education of the children. Most of the children were deprived of years’ worth of schooling as they moved away from their homes and were forced to live in camps or elsewhere. The psychological impact of the displacement was also huge. This impacted the access to education that the displaced kids had as their access to a school was restricted. The government also set up camps in the schools of the host communities into which the IDPs arrived. So 5000 schools were turned into shelter camps for the IDPs in the host communities where the IDPs arrived. This also impacted the access to education of the kids in the host community. Upon returning to their homes the IDPs saw that there has been extreme damage done to the schools and infrastructure was not able to take back the children as it was in a state of extreme devastation. The government also banned NGOs from working in the Waziristan region due to the large-scale operations.

There needs to be a significant investment made into the affected communities and the lack of funding has been a major issue that is stopping the rehabilitation. If normalcy is to be established then the population should be provided with the funding necessary to build back up the years’ worth of development that is compromised due to the conflict.

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