Friday, August 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

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

Blog Image

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. 

Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
About this blog

Trudy Rubin’s Worldview column runs on Thursdays and Sundays. In 2009-2011 she has made four lengthy trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Over the past seven years, she visited Iraq eleven times, and also wrote from Iran, Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, China, and South Korea.

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
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected