Crisis in Swat

Pakistan is facing a flood of people probably the biggest ever after 1947. The situation in camps is not as good, as Geo TV reports it from Dargaui and Jaluzai camps that people have to eat Nan along with just gravy or “Shorba” without any vegetable or meat in it. They are eating just water with some spices. Health facilities are becoming a challenge now as a huge number of people are having diseases. Camp of more than 50,000 people just have 3 Doctors and 2 lady health visitors despite of the fact that there are more than 100 pregnant women in the camps.

IDps camp
IDps camp

The catastrophe is one that in magnitude is as vast as the earthquake of 2005. So far no figures are being given for civilian casualties, but we all know, in our hearts of hearts, that some non-combatants at least will die. The kind of war being fought means this is in fact almost impossible to avoid – though of course the government must attempt to minimize what we have learned to call ‘collateral damage’. It is the danger of such a death that has brought desperate people pouring out of homes. We need mobilization of the kind seen three and a half years ago, in the days that followed the quake.

We need everyone in a position to give or to help in other ways to be involved in the effort to prevent still more misery for displaced persons. The need to avert human suffering is of course overwhelming, but the fact also is that we need to create a ‘connect’ between people from the northern areas and the mainstream of our country. Building bridges that can close the existing chasms between different parts of our country may eventually prove just as crucial to winning the war against militants as the actual military operation. Success on both fronts is indeed interlinked and this reality should not be ignored.

We need action to help displaced people, so that the process of winning over hearts coincides with that of regaining control over tracts of territory and may be the factor that enables the state to retain a grasp of these lands over a longer frame of time.


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