By Nita Bhalla
NEW DELHI – Aid workers struggling to help hundreds of thousands of war-displaced people in Pakistan are preparing for even greater challenges as the army looks to expand its offensive against Taliban militants to the border with Afghanistan.
The month-long operation against insurgents in the picturesque Swat Valley and other parts of the northwest has caused one of the largest internal displacements in recent times, with around 2.5 million people forced to seek refuge in camps or with host communities. Continue reading
By Ed Johnson
May 20 (Bloomberg) — Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani called on Islamic scholars to help root out extremism, as security forces waged an urban offensive against Taliban militants in the northwestern Swat Valley.
Terrorists are perverting the teachings of Islam and scholars should speak with one voice against the militants, Gilani said yesterday.
“It is time that they stand united to protect the country from all challenges,” Gilani said at a religious affairs conference in the capital, Islamabad, the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan reported.
Pakistan’s government is trying to build support in the world’s second-most populous Muslim nation for its offensive against Taliban insurgents. The militants reneged on a peace accord and last month advanced on the capital, even after the government agreed to impose Islamic law in Swat and neighboring districts. Continue reading
May 18, 2009
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
As you know, the humanitarian crisis in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province, which is the result of increased fighting between the Pakistan Army and militants, is reaching historic and catastrophic proportions. Over one million people have already been displaced, in what is believed to be the single largest civilian migration in the region since the 1947 Partition. Continue reading
The government’s large Jalala camp pales in comparison to privately run Hazrat Usman. Analysts warn that could turn huge numbers of Pakistanis against the military crackdown on the Taliban.
By Mark Magnier
Reporting from Takht Bhai, Pakistan — At the entrance to the Hazrat Usman camp just south of the Swat Valley, a welcoming committee greets those fleeing violence between the government and militants with a cool glass of water, a meal and a place to sleep with fans and a pharmacy. Continue reading