Source: The Toronto StarUN warns of disaster in Pakistan
May 09, 2009
ISLAMABAD – A humanitarian crisis is unfolding in northwest Pakistan, aid agencies warn, as the country's military continues its vigorous assault on Taliban militants, leaving hundreds of thousands of civilians caught in the crossfire, struggling to get to the safety of refugee camps.
United Nations officials said as many as 200,000 people have fled their homes and another 300,000 may be forced to move. A UN spokesperson said 11 refugee camps supported by various aid agencies have been constructed in recent weeks and more are planned.
I watched a lengthy report yesterday by the BBC filmed on location. Aid agencies estimate that 500,000 Pakistani's have now fled the fighting in the Swat region. The battles between government forces and the Taliban are intense and the destruction is heavy. Towns and roads are littered with burning vehicles and local structures bear abundant evidence of heavy caliber weapons fire.
It seems like the Pakistani government has finally realized that it must either eliminate its own creation... or be devoured by it.