THE Pakistani High Commission to Brunei organised a committee meeting yesterday to discuss issues related to the alarmingly increasing numbers of internally displaced people (IDP) in Pakistan and how they can help along with the Bruneian public.
Held at the High Commissioner's residence, Imran Yawar chaired the discussions which highlighted the escalating number of Pakistanis, now currently at 3.2 million, who have been displaced due to fighting between government forces and Taliban insurgents in the country's Swat valley as well as its neighbouring districts of Dir and Buner.
The High Commissioner urged the community to mobilise support for those who have been displaced in Pakistan and provide them with aid in any way possible. In response, the Pakistani committee assured him that they will leave no stones unturned to help their fellow brethren in distress.
As such, the Pakistani committee will be organising an awareness campaign in the country to shed light on the issue of refugees caught in the midst of the conflict.
The meeting also saw discussions pertaining to the issuance of Pakistani passports in Brunei as well as other internal concerns within the high commission.
In a report from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre's (IDMC) website, armed conflict between government forces and Taliban insurgents began in Pakistan's tribal areas located between the country's North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and the border with Afghanistan in 2002. It has since spread south and east across the NWFP which includes the Swat valley.
The speed and scale of the displacement crisis in Pakistan is posing huge challenges for the government and humanitarian actors who are warning that the number of IDPs is unlikely to stabilise as long as the fighting continues.
In an attempt to address the crisis, authorities have announced an emergency relief package to support 6,100 IDP families living in camps and 6,000 families with host communities.
The UN and international and national aid agencies are expanding and speeding up their relief operations, and have called upon the international community to respond to the immense humanitarian challenges facing the internally displaced population of Pakistan. (AFH1)
The Brunei Times
Saturday, May 30, 2009
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