Swat Valley - Part of emerging pattern in 2009?

This is becoming a familiar chorus in 2009:

“Beheadings and use of human shields by Taliban forces are not a blank check for the Pakistani army,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Winning the war, but also the peace, in Swat can only be achieved by minimizing civilian suffering.”

Then there is the restriction of media:

"the area is a closed military zone with journalists and human rights monitors barred from entering, it is currently not possible to verify this information independently. Local journalists have left the area, and the army is not permitting Pakistani reporters or foreign correspondents to enter."

And the final quote:

 

“Pakistan is facing one of the largest displacements of people seen in South Asia since the partition of India in 1947,” said Adams. “Unless this crisis is dealt with urgently and competently while minimizing the scope for corruption, the humanitarian and political crisis in the region will only worsen.”

 

All of this sounds pretty ominous and this is a catastrophe is waiting to happen.

The slight difference between this and Sri Lanka is that media are given free access to refugee camps and the fleeing civilians and injured are not being confined and surrounded by armed guards. 

 

Sadly this would be only a very small consolation for those who are being torn apart by this specific events.

By: on 12 May 2009