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Revival of militancy in flood-hit areas, serious threat to Pak, world: Provincial minister

By Samyuktha

Los Angeles, Aug.20 (ANI): Fears over militant groups taking advantage of the destructive floods to win over the minds and hearts of thousands of victims in Pakistan is growing by the day, with even ministers and officials now expressing concerns over the issue warning of its global impact.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Iftikhar Hussain warned that militants were regrouping in the region, which was evident from Tuesday's incident in which over 200 extremists from Khyber, one of the areas in the province which is believed to be the Taliban's sanctuary, clashed with security personnel.

While none of the police officials were killed or injured in the ambush, the incident certainly caused concern to the local administration.

"A resurgence of militancy in the region can become a serious threat for the country as well as for the world, if the provincial government does not get immediate help," The Los Angeles Times quoted Hussain, as saying.

"It will be very difficult for us to fight alone against the militants and cope with the natural disaster simultaneously," he added.

Even President Asif Ali Zardari, who visited the flood affected areas along with visiting US Senator John Kerry, expressed concerns, saying the impending crisis could open the door for recruitment and development of militants.

"Taking babies who have become orphans, putting them in their own camps to train them as the terrorists of tomorrow - things like that is what I'm worried about, what I'm sending an SOS on," Zardari told media persons during the joint press conference with Kerry.

Zardari said the government was trying its best to provide relief to thousands of people affected by the catastrophe, however, he also cautioned people over extremists taking advantage of the situation.

"We are giving them (victims) everything we've got. There is a possibility that some negative forces would exploit this situation," he said.

Speaking during the press conference, Kerry said President Obama is committed to help Pakistan amidst the impending crisis and certainly does not want the negative forces to exploit the situation for their benefit. (ANI)

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