Posts Tagged 'Killing Fields'

Pakistan Army Creates Killing Fields in Swat Valley

by Waseem Shehzad
(Sunday, June 7, 2009)
“Pakistan’s tragedy is that it has no leaders of stature or vision. Asif Ali Zardari, the country’s president, is not fit even to run a cinema from where he made his debut into business, much less running a country as complex as Pakistan.”

Amid all the confusion surrounding the Pakistan army’s month-long campaign against the Taliban or whoever they are fighting in Swat and Malakand, the only certainty is that it has created nearly 2.5 million refugees, dubbed internally displaced persons (IDP). Before the launch of army operations on April 26, people were ordered to leave their homes immediately. As hundreds of thousands of people streamed out of their towns and villages, most with little except the clothes on their backs, the government announced they would be housed in camps set up for this purpose and looked after well until the area was cleared of militants. Appeals for help have also been made to international donors. United Nations officials have confirmed that there are 1.5 million new refugees bringing the total to 2 million with half a million already from Bajaur. On May 21, an international donors’ conference in Islamabad reportedly pledged $224 million for the IDP. Already cynics are saying much of the aid money, if it ever materializes, will end up in the pocket of corrupt officials as happened following the October 2005 earthquake disaster.
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