Saturday, September 25, 2010

ICG Report on Pakistan floods

Tariq Osman Hyder in the Nation (Pakistan): The Brussels based International Crisis Group’s (ICG) recent report, Pakistan: The Worsening IDP Crisis, makes the following points:

(1) Pakistan’s government and international actors must ensure those in flood-devastated conflict zones are urgently granted the needed assistance without the military dictating rehabilitation and reconstruction.

(2) Pakistan not only faces an unprecedented natural disaster, but also confronts challenges of stabilising a fragile democratic transition and countering violent extremism. The civilian government, already tackling an insurgency, and its institutions, neglected during nine years of military rule, lack the capacity and means to respond without international assistance.

…(5) Following massive displacement in Malakand and Swat, due to militancy and military operations in 2009, the military led the return process, leading to a discriminatory response, the precipitous return of displaced persons to unstabilised areas, and collective punishment of families allegedly sympathetic to the militants. Similar policies in FATA caused 1.4 million to flee, most of whom are unwilling to go back that is leading to anger and alienation - fertile ground for the extremists.

(6) There are very clear concerns that if the Pakistani military were to lead the humanitarian response, beyond rescue operations and emergency needs, it would again subordinate humanitarian concerns to military objectives, with the same security risks emerging.

…This latest study from the ICG which has been generally critical of Pakistan raises three questions. First of all, where is the ICG coming from and what are its biases? Secondly, is the substance of this concern justified? Thirdly, is the ICG interested in refining the process whereby it prepares its reports?

No comments: