Islamabad will lose war against Taliban if NWFP refugees not rehabilitated

May 12th, 2009 - 4:54 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Peshawar, May 12 (ANI): Experts have warned the Pakistan Government that the failure to rehabilitate internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the Malakand region may nix the achievement of the military offensive against the Taliban.

“I fear that successes against the Taliban, may be washed away if we do not take good care of the internally displaced persons,” the Daily Times quoted research scholar Khadim Hussain, as saying.

With more than half of the IDPs being registered in government-run relief camps, Pakistan is facing its biggest migration in history.

The provincial government estimates that around a million Malakand residents have been displaced amid the army offensives in Lower Dir, Buner and Swat.

Security experts warn that the country would have ‘new enemies’ if the IDPs are not cared for.

“To keep the IDPs’ sympathies with the government, the operation has to be effective, and, secondly, we have to help these people deal with their problems,” said Khalid Aziz, security and development expert.

He added, “The displaced people will not forgive us if the Taliban survive the operation. These people have paid a big price for dismantling the terror network in their areas and flushing out the Taliban.”

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has described the military operation against the Taliban as a ’survival war’.

According to the sources, a meeting of donor countries is scheduled on May 18 in Islamabad to assess the needs of IDPs. (ANI)

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