Posts Tagged 'IDPs'



Pop Quiz: Only One was caused by the country’s OWN forces

Gaza City

Gaza

Lebanon

Lebanon

Afghanistan

Afghanistan

Irag

Iraq

Swat

IDP Corner

While the government and army claim one victory after another in Swat, the situation on the ground seems to put them all to shame. I don’t know how many towns — our own — have been conquered by our army so far and made “safe” for return, civilians are still streaming out of there every chance they get. And who’d blame them? Even Afghanistan appears safer. Mingora, one of the first towns “liberated”, is still a ghost town, with no electricity, no gas, no food, and no communication lines. Their crops are destroyed as well. Though Rehman Malik keeps asking people to go back to their homes, the government officials of the area are doing the opposite and discouraging refugees from returning. Things going back to normal seems a long way off as the army is already claiming it will need to stay there for a year at least .

Things at the IDP camps appear to be heading for the worst.

UN is claiming it is running out of money and has warned against disease outbreak in the IDP camps. It is also expected that this month alone, some 6000 IDP women to give birth, with an estimated 900 requiring life-saving surgery from complications — facilities for which are non-existent in the camps. 

Of the promised aid, only 11% seems to have been received so far . 

maybe the refugees can take comfort in the fact that their issue is among those to be taken up today in the Senate. In the mean time, those not yet registered have to wait  for five days as registration has been suspended. Those already registered have to wait another week for cash grants.

Winning Hearts and Minds….

A Pakistani man carries on Wednesday, May 27, 2009. his belongings rescued from the rubble of his house, destroyed in an air strike in Sultanwas village, in Buner district, Pakistan. Pakistan's army destroyed much of this village when it drove the Taliban back, reducing houses, mosques and shops to mounds of rubble where dusty children's shoes, shattered television sets and perfume bottles now lie. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

A Pakistani man carries on Wednesday, May 27, 2009. his belongings rescued from the rubble of his house, destroyed in an air strike in Sultanwas village, in Buner district, Pakistan. Pakistan's army destroyed much of this village when it drove the Taliban back, reducing houses, mosques and shops to mounds of rubble where dusty children's shoes, shattered television sets and perfume bottles now lie. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Residents Seethe as Pakistan Army Destroys Homes
SULTANWAS, Pakistan (AP) —

When Pakistan’s army drove the Taliban back from this small northwestern village, it also destroyed much of everything else here.

Continue reading ‘Winning Hearts and Minds….’

250,000 (Add To That 100,000) — Mercecenaries

Jeremy Scahill reports on Alternet that Obama has 250,000 ‘contractors’ deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan and is increasing the use of mercenaries:

Overall, contractors (armed and unarmed) now make up approximately 50% of the “total force in Centcom AOR [Area of Responsibility].” This means there are a whopping 242,657 contractors working on these two U.S. wars. These statistics come from two reports just released by Gary J. Motsek, the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Program Support): “Contractor Support of U.S. Operations in USCENTCOM AOR, IRAQ, and Afghanistan and “Operational Contract Support, ‘State of the Union.’” 

This means a full 50% of the US contingent in these two countries consists of mercenaries.

But in case of Pakistan we must add to the number of mercenaries the number of Pakistani forces personal fighting America’s war, killing their own in return for dollar$$$…

Mingora “Regained”

The Army claims to have “liberated” Mingora so it is odd to see “Thousands of residents flee conflict-hit Mingora”

But reading the stories about the state Mingora is in, it is hardly a surprise – No water, no electricity, no food, and no shelter after month long bombardment of the city:

‘Desperate’ Swat Valley situation revealed

After a month of fighting in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, aid groups have for the first time been allowed to assess the extent of damage, and they have expressed alarm about the humanitarian situation there.

The main city in the Swat Valley, Mingora, has been bombarded by artillery and street fighting for the past month.

Aid agencies say buildings and shops in the centre of town have been entirely flattened.
Continue reading ‘Mingora “Regained”’

In Pakistan, an Exodus that is Beyond Biblical

Locals sell all they have to help millions displaced by battles with the Taliban

By Andrew Buncombe

May 31, 2009 “The Independent” — The language was already biblical; now the scale of what is happening matches it. The exodus of people forced from their homes in Pakistan’s Swat Valley and elsewhere in the country’s north-west may be as high as 2.4 million, aid officials say. Around the world, only a handful of war-spoiled countries – Sudan, Iraq, Colombia – have larger numbers of internal refugees. The speed of the displacement at its height – up to 85,000 people a day – was matched only during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. This is now one of the biggest sudden refugee crises the world has ever seen.

Until now, the worst of the problem has been kept largely out of sight. Of the total displaced by the military’s operations against the Taliban – the army yesterday claimed a crucial breakthrough, taking control of the Swat Valley’s main town, Mingora – just 200,000 people have been forced to live in the makeshift tent camps dotted around the southern fringe of the conflict zone. The vast majority were taken in by relatives, extended family members and local people wanting to help.
Continue reading ‘In Pakistan, an Exodus that is Beyond Biblical’

“Rehman Malik sold Pashtoon to the Americans”

Cynicism among Pakistani refugees

Most displaced people say they have left their homes not because of the Taleban’s excesses, but because of shelling by the army.

“The Taleban captured our area and started patrolling the streets, they snatched vehicles from NGO staff, government officials and private individuals, and they threatened local people,” says Nasir Ali, a high school student.

“But it wasn’t as bad as the shelling by the army – that was what actually forced us to leave our homes.”…

I interviewed a large number of refugees in Swabi, but I did not meet a single person who actually saw the army and the Taleban as members of opposing camps.

Instead, I heard, they were “two sides of the same coin”.

“The Pakistani army has hurt us badly – but while they have killed civilians, I swear I haven’t seen a single shell directed at the Taleban,” says Shahdad Khan, a refugee sheltering at a camp in Swabi’s Shave Ada area.

Others question the Pakistani military’s stated commitment to “eliminating” the Taleban.

“No way,” Siraj tells me.

“The army brought the Taleban to our area! It’s politics. The Taleban and the army are brothers.” [continued…]

It is indeed hard to make sense of it all, particularly if the report is coming from BBC. Is this part of the propaganda to  keep the pressure on and leave the doors open for an assault on Pakistan army once it is done servicing its masters and can’t drain itself and destabilize Pakistan any more?

Or is this reprot mixing the truth with falsehood because the reporter couldn’t hear anything substaintial about the Taliban excesses which could justify this war within Paksitan?

Or does it prove that Taliban is the label given to those terrorist elements which have been supported by RAW and CIA and sent in to Paksitan to do exactly what the “Mujahideen” used to do againt the Soviet regime in Kabul. Those Mujahidden, too, were fully convinced that they were fighting in the cause of Allah, but where did that greater cause go when the Soviet left and their Jihad turned into a struggle for more power, loot and plunder and butchery of ordinary Afghans?

Whatever may be the real truth, what we cannot ignore is the fact that there is far more to the story than these headlines can tell us. “Taliban” and “Paksitan army” and the rulers in Islamabad or White House are mere puppets in the hands of the real powers behind the scene. The world is in the grip of a perfect tyranny.

See: Three key issues and How much time do we have?