Human tragedy may outweigh Swat military offensive's success

Written by: Super Admin
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Islamabad, Aug. 8 (ANI): Islamabad may be seeing the Pakistani military' operations against the Taliban in Swat as a success, but the "dismal plight" of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and those returning home threatens to squander gains from disrupting the Taliban, a New York Times editorial says.

According the opinion by former US State Department official Morton Abramowitz, many IDPs sought shelter with their families or friends, and around 50 percent ended up squatting in schools or staying with strangers.

Others sought refuge in camps for the IDPs, which were already limited in number.

Now, the IDPs were are returning to Swat, but not to their homes because most of them were destroyed in the military offensive. The government is now considering building new camps in Swat and Buner, the report said.

Many returnees are reportedly complaining that they have not yet received any government aid, it added.

Relief agencies fear that the government's apparent lack of concern for the internally displaced persons may diminish the military gains by providing the Taliban with a once-hostile population that is now perhaps more susceptible to recruitment, the editorial warns.

Officials said it was not clear that the government acknowledged that the operation's long-term effectiveness was highly dependent on the security of the returning civilians, it added. (ANI)

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