During his visit to Dera Ismail Khan on Tuesday, it once again transpired that desperate and hungry flood-affected people had been brought there at the last moment to a hurriedly established relief camp surrounded by a few new ones, unused tents given to some individuals on the same day to put up a perfect picture in Shorkot area near the airport.

The camp was set up hours before the prime minister’s visit. Hundreds of people had to wait for a long time in searing heat to get their share from a truck loaded with flour parked right in front of them on the other side of the road.

The prime minister visited the camp for a few minutes, asked an old man a few questions about the estimated cost of construction of a two-room house and left without distributing any cheque or announcing any package for the affected people.



The camp, as expected, was wound up soon after the departure of the prime minister. People at the camp confirmed that it had been set up early in the morning and they were told that they would get some help from the prime minister if they went there. They said they waited for hours to get some goods.

Mohammad Shafi, an old man, said he was living in the open in a miserable condition near his destroyed house, like many others. “At times there is no food and we starve.” Other people said there was an urgent need for 4,000 to 5,000 tents, but only about 100 people had been able to get these.

Some unidentified men were seen speaking in whispers to people who were talking to reporters in an apparent attempt to prevent them from revealing ‘secrets’.

Khursheed Bibi, a widow, got the much-needed tent late on Monday night after struggling for some 20 days. She has three children. The prime minister’s announced visit enabled her to get the tent and later officials also distributed tents among some other people.

A close relative of the woman alleged that tents were being given only to people favoured by influential people, adding that some of them got more than one tent.

Adam Sher, who has eight daughters and a son, said he had not received any tent. He said his house had been destroyed and he was living in the open with his family.

A number of other people said the situation was getting worse for them with each passing day. There are certain areas where thousands of people are still stranded.

Dawn