Foreign Policy: The Peshawar problem

Writing for Foreign Policy, Samina Ahmed of the Ploughshares-funded International Crisis Group reiterates the urgency of providing services to the internally displaced in Pakistan, particularly in the wake of the June 9 attack on the Pearl Continental hotel.  She commented, “If Pakistan and its international partners don't meet the needs of those taking refuge, the jihadists will.”  Noting the timing of the attack to coincide with a large meeting of aid organizations and the similarity to previous hotel bombings, Ahmed says the attack “forced international agencies to withdraw their international staff from Peshawar, disrupting assistance to the hundreds of thousands now living in government-run camps.” She concludes, “The way that Pakistan, the United States, and other partners approach relief for the latest victims will determine what will emerge from the rubble: a strong civil society that stands in opposition to extremism, or a population beaten into compliance with the very forces tearing their country apart.”