UN: Pakistan Unrest Displaces One Million
8 May 09 | PTV
A spokesman for the UN refugee agency says the recent outbreak of violence in northwest Pakistan has displaced a total of one million people.
Speaking to reporters in Geneva on Friday, Ron Redmond said the escalating violence has prompted massive displacement in the insurgency-plagued area.
Pakistan’s army has launched deadly attacks on Taliban positions in the restive northwestern Swat Valley in recent days.
As the result, Redmond said up to 200,000 people have left the area and another 300,000 are on the move or are about to flee. Some 555,000, counted by the agency since August, are already in safe areas.
Pakistan’s turbulent northwest has degenerated into a safe haven for al-Qaeda and Taliban militants who fled the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan and have chosen the trial belt as their new home.
In line with efforts to rid of insurgency, Pakistan has launched at least a dozen operations in the border region in recent years. Many of the attacks, however, end inconclusively and result in massive destruction and significant civilian deaths.
Pakistan’s president said Thursday that the operations would continue until trouble is gone from the restive northwestern areas.
“It is going to carry on until life in Swat comes back to normalcy,” President Asif Ali Zardari said.