Friday, May 15, 2009

The scars of the Swat operation...

As soon as there is an interval in the curfew, hundreds of thousands of inhabitants from the different parts of Swat Valley move out to join the stream of vehicles, for the safe exit from the area and among them, many begin their journey on foot. Many people are still trapped in their houses, being terrorized by the Taliban and not being allowed to move out. Thousands who are unable to reach to the camps have to spend the nights in the fields. In the camps that are set up, there is lack of proper food, medicines, and proper hygiene and sanitation facilities. According to today’s news report, diseases like malaria and diarrhea are on the rise in those camps. This struggle and misery of the internally displaced people should not be taken for granted by the government. Since we do not want to inculcate feelings of hatred amongst the internally displaced people and a little lack of management and carelessness on the part of government might prove as a trigger in rising elements of another form of Talibanization in the people who now are internally displaced.

This is probably one of the worst times in the history of Pakistan and I fear that if the government does not deal with the crises of the internally displaced people of Swat beneficially, this defeat of the militants might prove as their victory in the end.

First, we need to acknowledge the fact that the launch of a military operation against the Taliban was the only way to wipe them out of Swat and the adjoining areas. Since,dialogue with such a barbaric faction(Frankenstein, created by the Pakistan army under General Zia and the US itself) was an idea absolutely out of question. However, this war has brought a major fear along with itself and that is, if the government fails to deal with this humanitarian crisis in a just way we might end up devastating our own people.

Some hours ago, I was watching a report on a news channel regarding the conditions in the camps, which are now the only shelter left for the internally displaced people of Swat. This report was being shown as an evidence of the views of the grief-stricken people. It is not very surprising to see that these homeless people are infuriated at the government and the army since they are not being provided with sufficient food and medicines. For the displaced people, the militants and the Pakistan Army are equal because while living in Swat they were being terrorized by the militants and now when their houses are being damaged and they are homeless, they are not even being provided with the basic necessities of life properly.

The government has organized all these camps in haste and a lot of poor planning has been done. A lot of mistakes have been done on the part of the government as far as the displaced are concerned and a lot is still going wrong. At this crucial stage, we all need to remember one thing that the people of Swat have abandoned that area and are now suffering only to erase Taliban from this country. Therefore, since the army is doing its job very efficiently, the government needs to strategically plan the issue of the internally displaced people if we wish to see long-term results of this Swat War.

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