Research by the BBC Urdu’s service into the growing strength of Taliban militants in north western Pakistan shows that only 38% of the area remains under full government control.
It was based on local research and correspondent reports as well as conversations with officials. It shows the Taliban strengthening their hold across the north-west.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari rejected the findings, telling the BBC it was an “incorrect survey”. The report the BBC map was based on covered the 24 districts of NWFP and the seven tribal agencies and six frontier regions of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
The Pakistani army’s spokesman, Gen Athar Abbas, rejected the BBC map as “grossly exaggerated“. “The ground situation doesn’t give any indicator of such influence or control of Taliban in this area,” he told the BBC in Rawalpindi.
Apart from the debate that this is a valid research or not, if we assume it to be so than it is a highly alarming situation. The number of Taliban controlled areas is less but their presence is indicated almost throughout the North West part of Pakistan. They are present in 14 districts of NWFP and have control on 8 districts. Out of 24 districts of NWFP Taliban are hiding in 22 districts either in full control or partial. This statistics means that Pakistan Army had to vacate almost all of the population of NWFP to fight or demolish Taliban. It is feared that this will increase the time period for refugees to be homeless. Probably the rehabilitation of the IDPs would take years now. It will be a hard nut to crack. Only with unity we can combat the situation and INSHALLAH soon arise from this crisis.
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.
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.
According to news reports millions of people are suffering from food & medicine shortage after 24 hours of displacement of thousands of people from Swat, Buner and various other districts of Malakand. Due to curfew and ongoing military operation millions of people are still confined inside their houses in Malakand and they are facing shortage of amenities. It has been appealed by various organizations repeatedly that there is a need of food, medicines, tents, utensils for the refugees.
A huge displacement has been observed from the affected areas via Ambela-Sawabai Road, Dagar-Mardan Road, Jowar-Daragi Road (via Bazdara and Girarai). According to the local social activist Mr. Tajun Khan, 60% population of the affected areas has left villages. The remaining population is facing shortage of food, water and health facilities. Curfew has been relaxed for more than 12 Hours which facilitated the people who are continuously fleeing the area. But the people who are stuck up in the area have no transport, fuel and money to come out. 100% schools of the districts are closed. The Militants have destroyed some of the schools buildings, Police stations and posts, Basic Health Units and houses of some liberals and opinion makers.
During the operation the forces have destroyed roads, bridges, water supply facilities and electricity poles in the area .A huge number of live stock have been killed. The wheat crop ready for harvesting and Tobaccos crop have been destroyed at large scale. 03 students have been injured while going to appear for exam at Dagar College.
The electricity grad station has been damaged by bomb blast and electricity supply is suspended to most of the areas in the district including Mingora where more than 0.5 million people are living. Due to electricity failure, the citizens are facing shortage of water. The continuous curfew in the main city has resulted in shortage of food commodities.
There is no transport facility in the city as the main Swat-Peshawar road has been blocked by the security forces. The people who are stuck up in the area are facing shortage of water, food commodities and medical facilities as there is no electricity and transportation. It merits mentioning here that areas affected in the previous operations are comparatively calm.
It is not that there is naval invasion and war begins but it is more of a cultural war. The navel invasion has first on a rise from west but over the past few years it has been from across the borders. The media industry in India and to an extent in Pakistan objectifies women to sell their products. This objectification not only affects the status of women but it is also affecting our ethical values and culture. Whatever advertisement it is a women is there. They made things sale able.
Words like babe, hot, sexy are a part of even a child’s verbal communication now. They don’t know what nikah is but PHEERAY is familiar. Teen agers want to dress like the girls they watch on media. When I review flashback of my life I observe many changes we use to watch programmes on TV in the presence of elders. There was a check on our activities which helped us a lot in future. But when I compared this to modern time the scenario has been completely altered. Over exposure is sometimes dangerous too.
The content of foreign channels includes dancing and exposing navels by sassy girls even in ads and dramas now. The trend is on a high that even our local dramas are following it. Bold topics and scenes are now a part of every drama take example of Mulaqat on hum TV. Even advertisements are like that we can’t watch them with family. Multiple marriages and affairs are borrowed from Indian soaps. Band khirkion k peechay at TV One shows the story of elite class where many taboos are OK.
Ads of housing projects shows hugging couple. Fashion industry is also following international trends and you can see women wearing sleeveless shirts in lot of morning shows. It seems that media has been escaped from a prison and every one is showing whatever they want. There is no censor now.
This navel invasion is much severe than naval invasion and I am unable to see efforts to combat it. Media and concerned authorities should look into the matter.