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It’s in the name

Migrants from Waziristan are naming their newborns after the operation and everything surrounding it

It’s in the name

Despite being exposed to suffering due to displacement at a time when the weather is extremely hot, many among the dislocated North Waziristanis haven’t lost their sense of humour. This is evident from their ability to coin purposeful names for newborns keeping in mind their difficult circumstances at present.

A girl born in Bannu soon after a displaced family from North Waziristan’s Boya Mohammadkhel area reached there was named Mutasireena Bibi, a Pashto word literally meaning someone who has been affected. She is surely affected by dislocation and her unique name would remind everyone how in June 2014 her family, along with hundreds of thousands of people, were forced to leave their hearths and homes to start a new life and face an uncertain future in unfamiliar surroundings in Bannu.

Mutasireena Bibi’s grandfather, Rahmat Rasool, told reporters that his daughter-in-law suffered a lot during the last stages of her pregnancy. He said her husband, Riaz, opted to migrate to Afghanistan. Rahmat Rasool also remarked that it is difficult for any self-respecting person to stand in long queues for hours to receive rations at the few distribution centres set up by the government.

Another North Waziristani family now settled in Bannu named a newborn boy Azb Khan after the name given to the military operation. Codenamed “Zarb-e-Azb” meaning the “Strike of the Prophet’s Sword”, the operation against the militants was launched on June 15 with airstrikes that continued for two weeks before a ground offensive was undertaken.

The new-born boy’s father said the name Azb Khan would remind them of military action and the suffering that it brought on them.

While on the subject of name-giving, militants tried to give an appropriate name to their retaliatory strikes to “Zarb-e-Azb” by declaring that they would launch “Zarb-e-Momin” against the government and its security forces. However, there isn’t much evidence yet of “Zarb-e-Momin” making an impact.

Rahimullah Yusufzai

rahimullah yusufzai
The writer is resident editor of The News in Peshawar. He can be reached at [email protected]

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