Kurram misery

IDPs deserve all the support they can get. Government needs to mobilise funds ensuring their misery is not prolonged.

Editorial July 14, 2011
Kurram misery

Over 6,000 families have fled the Kurram areas where military action continues to try and tackle the growing threat from militants who have placed large parts of the agency under siege. The Disaster Management Authority in Fata is reporting that there are insufficient supplies to meet the basic needs of these people. We know that Pakistan has for years struggled to cope with the continuous influx of internally displaced persons (IDPs) who have poured out from areas in the conflict or been displaced by natural disasters. Fata authorities say they have no resources to help the latest wave of people moving out from Kurram. Arrangements are being made by provincial authorities to house them in a camp at Hangu and some international agencies have moved in to help.

But these efforts are proving insufficient. The people of Kurram have suffered immense hardship for a very long time, most notably after 2007 when fighting between groups in the area broke out in earnest. Local tribes who tried to keep the Taliban out of the region paid a heavy price for their efforts. They are now facing a tougher situation. The IDPs deserve all the support they can get. The government needs to mobilise funds and ensure that their misery is not prolonged. Arrangements also have to be made to provide them with a steady supply of safe water and food, and also to prevent the outbreak of disease.

What is most important is that the growing troubles in Kurram be brought to an end so that people can return to their homes and resume the peaceful lives they once knew. We can only hope troops succeed in achieving this, although it must be said their efforts in other areas have not always proven to be effective in ending the extremism that has so badly affected the lives of so many ordinary people and which means that tens of thousands even now remain far away from their homes in camps or with relatives.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2011.


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