Tuesday, May 26, 2009

2.4 million refugees in Pakistan

"The number of refugees in north-west Pakistan has increased to 2.4 million according to the UNHCR based on figures from the regional authorities.

"Most of the refugees are from the Swat valley, where the Pakistani army started an offensive against Taliban fighters earlier this month. A half a million Pakistanis had already fled fighting in other regions.

"This is believed to be the largest number of displaced people since the Rwandan genocide in 1994."

In the 19th Century, Edward Lear, the English artist and writer of nonsense verse, made fun of the ruler of the Swat Valley in a poem called The Akond of Swat, revealing, perhaps, his own ignorance and that of the British people. But it's a good poem and I've liked it since early childhood (when I didn't know about war and imperialism).

UNHCR - the UN refugee agency

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