Inclusion and equity in growth programmes: The IDPs of Swat and Waziristan

This project identifies the specific economic constraints that prevent internally displaced persons (IDPs) from participating in productive economic activity. It suggests ways in which IDPs can be included in the growth-oriented policies being formulated by the GOP and the provincial government of KP for Waziristan and Swat.

Heretofore, IDPs have been excluded from economic planning, based on the inaccurate assumption that IDPs will be swiftly repatriated.  There is no evidence to support this assumption. Regional development plans cannot ignore the presence of the IDPs any more than it can ignore the fact that even after they are repatriated, they will need to rebuild their economies.

This research will contribute to the IGC’s goal of facilitating inclusive and sustainable growth through sociologically sensitive institutional reforms that create context-specific economic incentives and attend to the special problems encountered by the most vulnerable and marginalised groups in KP, 74% of whom are women and children.

The starting point of the research is that IDPs constitute a population that have special needs related to their experience displacement and repetitive disruption. These needs must be appreciated if this rather large population are to become economically productive members of society both in displacement and after repatriation.  The children who have first-hand experience of witnessing extreme forms of violence are the actually the future work force of KP and FATA. Restoring their shattered lives and supporting educational institutions for them is not just a humanitarian a goal, it is also an economic one.

The research will take place in two main concentrations of IDPs.  Those resettled in various parts of Swat district after the 2009-2010 military action; and those who are still living in Jalozai Camp, outside Peshawar, as a result of the on-going military action in FATA.  Jalozai camp houses 566,900 IDPs from the Waziristan conflict.  It is reported that “repatriated” IDPs often return to the camps, because, official statements to the contrary, Waziristan has not been ‘pacified’.

My starting hypothesis is that for a variety of reasons, including their new formal juridical relationship with the state of Pakistan, the anticipated and real experiences of the two groups will be significantly different. The logic of the comparison is that the Swat group will have experienced the aftermath of displacement; the FATA group will be dealing with displacement and only imagining repatriation.

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