To get a better “aerial view” of militants, who may take refuge in abundant, fort-like mud houses in remote places in south Waziristan, Pakistani Army has started removing their roofs.
According to Pakistan’s military, south Waziristan, a mountainous region of northwest Pakistan, has now been cleared of militants.
Map of Pakistan, with Federally Administered Tribal Areas highlighted wikipedia
The region is now welcoming thousands of displaced families back to their homes. It is part of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (the tribal lands) on the border with Afghanistan and has been a training ground for insurgents and a focal point for terrorism fears, particularly since the 9/11 attacks.
Operation Zarb- E- AzB defence.pk
According to a report by Agence France-Presse, some houses were damaged by weather, and the roofs of some were removed by the Army which wants to stop militants taking refuge in these abundant, fort-like mud houses.
However, it is unclear how many houses had been removed by the military and how many had been damaged by the weather and fighting.
Pakistani military launched the operation Rah-e-Nijat in South Waziristan against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its then-leader Baitullah Mehsud in 2009, and displaced more than 72,000 families. Though the operation was successful in containing militancy to a certain extent, it was only when the Operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched in June 2014 that militancy and terrorism was effectively targeted, following a hard but decisive battle.
According to Colonel Muhammad Imran
, some 42,000 families have been sent back seven years after the operation, with another 30,000 expected by the end of 2016.
Pakistani authorities claim that they have rebuilt roads, constructed health facilities and schools and reinforced the water supply in villages in the area. Pakistani government says it is providing up to Rs 400,000 to families for the rebuilding of their homes, but tribals clam that amount is insufficient.