Civilians trapped between Taliban and Pak army face ‘humanitarian catastrophe’: HRW

May 26th, 2009 - 6:50 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Islamabad, May 26 (ANI): The Pakistan Army’s offensive in the Swat Valley has rendered thousands of civilians homeless, and several other civilians have migrated to safer places, but those who are still trapped in the valley are facing a ‘humanitarian catastrophe’.

According to a report of New York-based humanitarian agency, the Human Rights Watch (HRW), hundreds of people who have been trapped between the extremists and security forces are being compelled to live with scant food and water as the security forces have imposed a continuous curfew in the region.

“People trapped in the Swat conflict zone face a humanitarian catastrophe unless the Pakistani military immediately lifts a curfew that has been in place continuously for the last week,” Asia director of HRW, Brad Adams said.

“The government cannot allow the local population to remain trapped without food, clean water and medicine as a tactic to defeat the Taliban,” he added.

The agency urged the government to lift the curfew, so that people could arrange for their daily needs.

The government must ensure that the innocent civilians get an emergency supply of food, drinking water and medicines.

“The Pakistani government should take all possible measures, including airdrops of food, water and medicine to quickly alleviate large-scale human suffering in Swat,” The Dawn quoted Adams, as saying.

The situation is worsening day by day, with dead bodies lying unburied and the critically injured facing likely death, as all medical facilities in the valley have shut down and medicines are unavailable.

The agency claimed that that Taliban is still beheading civilians, while it also had reports of 30 civilians being killed in military strikes in the region. (ANI)

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