Pakistani offensive moves into Waziristan

The fighting between the Pakistani military and Taliban insurgents that has already displaced more than two million people has now moved into the Federally Administered Tribal Area of South Waziristan (just south of the already affected province of Lower Dir). 40,000 people have already started moving out of the area.

South Waziristan is not a hugely populous area, and the latest wrinkle to Pakistan’s unprecedented displacement crisis is that many in South Waziristan evidently — this was a surprise to me — have “second homes” to avoid the typically harsh winters. Add that to the dynamic whereby 80%-plus of displaced Pakistanis are being taken in by other Pakistani families, rather than taking shelter in camps, and you have a situation that is just sustainable enough to be direly unsustainable.

This whole situation also really puts in perspective the rhetoric that used to be tossed around about “fighting terrorists over there so we don’t have to fight them here.”  For millions of Pakistanis, “over there” is right here.