Friday, May 29, 2015

The refugees

Here's how the Taliban grow. These are refugees from the Bajaur tribal agency who were forced to flee their villages when the army came in looking for Pakistani Taliban. They were caught in the middle.

The refugees

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Here's how the Taliban grow. These are refugees from the Bajaur tribal agency who were forced to flee their villages when the army came in looking for Pakistani Taliban. They were caught in the middle.

Now 16,000 (of 85,000) are stuck in Kacha Garhi camp near Peshawar, a flat expanse of nothing but dirt and khaki tents. No water to wash, no firewood to cook, no electricity, overflowing latrines, no work. No future. The government was supposed to resettle them but no sign of it.

These were not Taliban before, but they now provide perfect recruiting material for Islamic militant groups. Talking with the desperate elders, who are nearly in tears at the destruction of their dignity and futures, makes one want to weep. US aid money, if nothing else, should be building them new homes. Much cheaper than fighting thousands of new Taliban. 

Inquirer Opinion Columnist
About this blog

Trudy Rubin’s Worldview column runs on Thursdays and Sundays. Over the past decade she has made multiple trips to Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey, Israel and the West Bank and also written from Syria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Iran, Russia, Ukraine, South Korea and China. She is the author of Willful Blindness: the Bush Administration and Iraq, a book of her columns from 2002-2004. In 2001 she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary and in 2008 she was awarded the Edward Weintal prize for international reporting. In 2010 she won the Arthur Ross award for international commentary from the Academy of American Diplomacy.

Reach Trudy at trubin@phillynews.com.

Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
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