Militants in Swat, Bajaur and other areas forced people to relocate: Zardari

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Washington, May 8 (ANI): Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has denounced militancy, saying that it has forced hundreds of thousands of people to migrate to safer places from tribal areas of the country.

In his message on the occasion of World Red Crescent Day, Zardari said it is the responsibility of the government to provide relief to affected people and to ensure their respectable return home.

"The militants in Swat, Bajaur and other areas have forced the people having differing views with the Taliban to relocate," he pointed out, adding "the children have been forced to quit education."

The News quoted Zardari as saying that those who have been affected the most by the militancy are patients, injured and women.

He urged Red Crescent Society Pakistan to enhance its efforts in the backdrop of the existing situation in the country.

As many as 600,000 to 800,000 Pakistani refugees are streaming from the mountains and valleys of the greater Swat region, leaving the Pakistan Government with the gigantic task of rehabilitating them, the Central Science Monitor reports.

Pakistan Government has a make or break chance to win the public acceptance.

Much depends on how these refugees are treated, on how quickly and definitively the Pakistani Army moves to defeat the Taliban insurgents in the region, and - if the Army is successful - on what the refugees encounter once they return home, the report says.

Horrified refugees confirm reports of public flogging, brutal killings, and the burning of schools and police headquarters. And the Taliban did not lay down arms, but rather moved aggressively toward Islamabad, coming within 60 miles of the capital. (ANI)

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