Swat’s Refugee Crisis Underscores Government Incompetence

If there’s one thing the private sector can’t compete with a modern military on, it’s the ability to drive millions of people from their homes in a matter of weeks. The situation in the Swat Valley is the largest migration the nation has seen since the 1947 partition with India – and while many are staying with relatives and hoping the war eventually comes to an end, others are scrambling for refugee camps.

It’s providing an interesting case study, for while there is no shortage of reporting on the squalor and desperation of the overcrowded government IDP camps, the Los Angeles Times is reporting on another kind of camp.

The Hazrat Usman camp is run by a religious group and depends on private donations. While the government camps are crowded and short on supplies, the private camp has food, medicine, and far more comfortable living conditions.

Some express concern that the private groups, critical of the government’s invasion of the Swat Valley, will increase sympathy for the Taliban-styled factions there. Yet it is hard to imagine that the private sector’s ability to provide desperate people with food and shelter will undermine government support more than the military’s indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas in the conflict.

16 thoughts on “Swat’s Refugee Crisis Underscores Government Incompetence”

  1. The government of Pakistan have so far failled to address the plight of those refugees who were displced by the earthquake several years ago.But then again,who can blame Pakistan when the US goevernment were not able to respond to New Orleans disaster either!

  2. Driving out hundreds of thousands of people from their homes certainly will not win “hearts and minds” for the Islamabad regime. I wonder whether the rulers in Islamabad and Washington DC really expect otherwise.

    However: calling this terrible event “the largest migration the nation has seen since the 1947 partition with India” means that East-Pakistan aka Bangladesh is conveniently forgotten. The war waged by the Pakistani army against “its own civilians” in that area created a “refugee problem” of about ten million people.

  3. The agenda of the US is to distablise Pakistan to give the US excuse to take control of Pakistan Nuclear weapons on behalf of Israel and India.If any one recall that there were reports several years of plans take over Pakistan atomic weapons.

    1. As long as they had thier puppet Pervez Musharraf in charge the US was happy enough. Now they are not so sure how to handle things. However, I think it might be more about the pipelines than the nukes. I know I’m more than a little cynical but I believe that the war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the future war with Iran are all about power and not just the political type.

      As for Israel I think of them as the 51st state. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if the dog is wagging it’s tail or vice versa. But I truly believe the reason we helped create, defended and continue to sponser Israel is to keep the Middle East unstable. The instability gives the US a reason to intervene and thus grab our corporate plunder. It also allows our “leaders” to take part in and feed off the murder, torture, and general retchedness of the Palisinian people (that’s the part they do just for fun).

      I know many people still think of our “leaders” as slightly moronic but well intentioned childred. Unfortunately that is simple nievity. These people are not morons they are evil little puppets who get off on the destruction they cause both in the US and abroad. The loss of lives is a bonus to these scum and the only lesson they learned from Vietnam was to keep the number of American dead down low enough so that the American sheeple don’t get out of line.

      Black Sabbath – War Pigs (Live in Paris 1970) check out the different lyrics in this version. I think it pretty much says it all.


  4. The special forces unit is training with Israel’s most trusted anti-terrorist unit, and would be called into action in the event that Gen Pervaiz Musharraf lost power in Pakistan, the New Yorker magazine said.

    The CIA believes that Pakistani army officers sympathetic to the Taliban could pose a threat to Gen Musharraf, and that some of the country’s estimated 24 nuclear warheads could be stolen by renegades within Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISI.

    Seymour Hersch, a journalist whose reporting on the post-September 11 crisis has been broadly accurate so far, said that members of Israel’s Unit 262, or Sayeret Matkal, came to America soon after the attacks and have been training with Pentagon special forces.


    Pentagon readies plans for Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal


    Like the US invasion of Iraq, plans for covert operations and military strikes against Pakistan have not only circulated for long among influential US groups, they are visibly under implementation. Again, like Bush, the Obama presidency has provided the opportunity to implement these plans.

    Obama has been elected on a Democratic Party platform that holds that ‘The greatest threat to the security of the Afghan people — and the American people — lies in the tribal regions of Pakistan, where terrorists train, plot attacks and strike into Afghanistan and move back across the border. We cannot tolerate a sanctuary for Al Qaeda.” It defines Pakistan as ‘a nuclear-armed nation at the nexus of terror, extremism and … instability’ and goes on to promise that ‘we will lead a global effort … to secure all nuclear weapons material at vulnerable sites within four years’.


    1. Well, he doesn’t stumble when he reads a speech! But no one who is not mainstream could get into office. That means more Cold War State, probably more and more autocracy in practice, although the old forms will be kept. Augustus continued Roman elections, etc., long after the Empire supposedly began.

      Lester Ness

  5. The $1.5 billion in aid to pakistan announced a couple of weeks ago was supposedly to pay for the refugees created because of Obama’s ordered assault on Swat.

  6. Palistian,Korea,Vietnam,Loas,Cambodia ,Afghnistan,Iraq,Somalia,Afghnistan,Iraq,Somalia,

    When will the US stop creating humanitrian disasters all over the world!?

    1. I’m sure if I were a South Korean living in South Korea today I’d be very thankful I wasn’t living in Kim Jong-ill’s hellhole. That only happened because of an American humanitarian disaster. With that sole exception I agree with every thing you have said.

      1. S. Koreans remember that it was the US which partitioned the country, gave half to Stalin. Likewise, they remember support for various dictators. Antiwar.com has done stories about the US massacres of civilians in the Korean War. They remember all the whoring the GIs did/do, too.

        In general, you can assume that foreigners will always interpret their history in their own way.

        Lester Ness

  7. Re: Swat, if Asia Times Online’s correspondant is correct, the whole operation is a big fake. The Pak. army isn’t fighting anyone, just pretending too. That’s why they evacuated everyone: so no one could see them not fighting.

    I don’t know if this is true, but check it out. http://www.atime.com

    Lester Ness

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