James Forsyth

The tragedies of Swat valley<br />

The tragedies of Swat valley<br />
Text settings
Comments

There is something depressingly predictable about the news that extremist groups are filling the void left by the Pakistani government in terms of accommodating the refugees from the Swat valley. Save the Children estimates that only 20 percent of the roughly 2 million refugees are in government run camps. The Washington Post reports that:

‘Outside the camps, groups with radical Islamist agendas are rushing to fill the void left by the paucity of government services. The Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation, the successor to a group known as Jamaat-ud-Dawa, has established a major presence in areas near Swat, feeding tens of thousands of displaced people and providing them with quality medical care.

Jamaat-ud-Dawa was banned late last year on suspicion of involvement in the November attacks in Mumbai that killed more than 170 people. After the ban, however, the group simply passed along its facilities and personnel to Falah-e-Insaniat, which continues to use the same insignia and slogan as the old group: "Free service in the name of Allah."’ Can it be any surprise that in these condition, the Islamists will pick up recruits? The incompetence of the Pakistani state is again allowing them to falsely pose as efficient and honest defenders of the faithful.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

Comments
Topics in this articleSociety