The exodus in Pakistan is beyond biblical
Andrew Buncombe; 1/6/09
The language was already biblical; now the scale of what is happening matches it. The exodus of people forced from their homes in Pakistan’s Swat Valley and elsewhere in the country’s northwest may be as high as 2.4 million, aid officials say. Around the world, only a handful of war-spoiled countries – Sudan, Iraq, Colombia – have larger numbers of internal refugees. The speed of the displacement at its height – up to 85,000 people a day – was matched only during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. This is now one of the biggest sudden refugee crises the world has ever seen.Until now, the worst of the problem has been kept largely out of sight. Of the total displaced by the military’s operations against the Taleban, just 200,000 people have been forced to live in the makeshift tent camps dotted around the southern fringe of the conflict zone.