Internally displaced persons have been needing the help as at the moment they have been passing through a very critical. The IDPs have been leading very miserable life in the camps established for them. There are reports that other provinces of Pakistan has barred the IDPs on the plea that they will creat problems for them.
According to a newspaper comment, AS thousands of people continue to flee the battle zones of Malakand division, apprehensions have been expressed by some about the resettlement of IDPs in other parts of the country. This underscores the intensifying tragedy of the IDPs, who are caught between a rock and a hard place with little hope of rescue by either the state or society. The over two million evacuees are not cross-border refugees but people displaced internally as a result of the Taliban-led insurgency and the military response. Indeed, the exodus began in earnest only after residents were told to evacuate in anticipation of the military offensive. Given that this call went out from the government, it was incumbent upon the state to plan for an eventuality of the sort and divert resources towards the protection and rehabilitation of IDPs. Lessons could have been extrapolated from the relief effort in the wake of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, and bodies such as the National Crisis Management Cell put on standby.
It must also be noted that the insurgency and the need for a military response did not materialise unexpectedly. The interlinked issues of the Taliban and militancy had been festering even before the current government took charge. The matter was repeatedly mishandled by both the state and the army: where the former resorted to ill-advised concessions such as the Nizam-i-Adl Regulation, the latter failed to take decisive action in its earlier attempts to secure the area and, indeed, allowed the operations of persons such as Maulana Fazlullah to continue unchecked until matters reached a crisis point.
Meanwhile, other than in areas close to the conflict zone such as Mardan which received the first flood of evacuees, the response of the citizenry has been sluggish. In Karachi and Hyderabad, the issue has been clouded by ethnicity-based politics, while a glaring lack of empathy is evident in much of the country. This is a factor that could further alienate the IDPs, and prove disastrous in the long term. It is imperative that the IDP crisis not only be understood in its full perspective but that the affectees’ rehabilitation and return to their hometowns become the country’s foremost priority.