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Senior Advisor

Canuck, what should we do?

The taliban has demanded that we quit helping the flooded Pakistanis. Do we do as they wish and let the people of Pakistan take care of themselves? If we do not leave do our relief workers have the right to protect themselves? What are the relief workers to do if the taliban are firing on, and killing them hidden behind civilians?




 American and other foreign aid workers in Pakistan have been warned they could be in danger of attacks from the Taliban even as the country faces devastating floods that have left millions homeless, sick and short of food.

A U.S. official told the BBC that the Pakistani Taliban were planning to "conduct attacks against foreigners participating in the ongoing flood relief operations," adding that "federal and provincial ministers" might also be at risk.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not give further details about the source of his information.

Today, however, a Taliban spokesman, Azam Tariq, told The Associated Press that the presence of foreigners was "unacceptable," and strongly hinted that the insurgents could use violence.

A Pakistani woman affected by the floods holds a baby as an army relief camp is seen in the background in Sukkar on August 26, 2010.
Pedro Ugarte, AFP/Getty Images
A Pakistani woman holds a baby outside an army relief camp for flood victims Thursday in Sukkar. A Taliban spokesman warned today that any foreigners trying to aid flood victims are in danger of attacks.

"When we say something is unacceptable to us, one can draw his own conclusion," Tariq told the AP by telephone from an undisclosed location. He said that although foreigners were talking about helping the victims, "behind the scenes they have certain intentions."

In a similar statement quoted by Reuters, Tariq said: "We will not tolerate American aid. They want to use it for their own interest and don't want to help the people of Pakistan. They have their own nefarious designs."

The spokesman for the Pakistan Army, Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas, agreed that if the threats delay aid reaching victims in remote areas, "then yes, the people will become restive."

But he said he thought attacks by the Taliban were unlikely, because he believed they would set off a huge backlash. "The local people are all out to welcome" the aid workers, he said. "In this distressed situation, anyone is welcome."

The BBC said that the World Health Organization, a U.N. agency, was reviewing its security measures and that its aid efforts had already been affected by safety concerns.

A spokesman, Ahmed Farah Shadoul, said: "Now with this threat it means either we have to downsize the operation -- which means less access to the affectees -- otherwise we have to take more mitigation measures in order to reduce the security risk, which means more resources."

He added: "This will definitely delay the operation in certain areas."

But a spokesman for the U.N. said it could not let threats from insurgent groups stop its relief efforts.

"There is a lot of work ahead and millions of people who need our assistance," Maurizio Giulano told the AP. "We would find it inhumane for someone to target us and our work, effectively harming the millions of people whose lives we strive to save."

The U.N. estimates that more than 17 million people have been affected by the floods, brought on by an unusually long and strong monsoon season. Some 1.2 million homes have been destroyed and 5 million people left without a place to live.


11 Replies
Veteran Advisor

Re: Canuck, what should we do?

Well r3020 I think those 'on the ground' will decide what is safe and possible and then do what they can safely.

I do not think it is surprising that they are threatening to keep outsiders away. It has been noted that the Taliban and other anti government groups will try to help the locals themselves and keep the government out to make the government of Pakistan look bad and make them look good to the locals.

You have to remember that the US and Pakistan government forces have been fighting and bombing the insurgents in recent years so you can not expect them to welcome you with open arms.

So I guess there is only the option to risk some lives and help as many as possible. Doing nothing or running away from the threat is giving up to the insurgents.

If you want to fight a war you have to expect some deaths on your side too.

Now if you want to get into what if's then ask what the situation might have been like if there was not a war going on and an invasion of their neighbour?

But that is hypothetical, now you have to deal with the reality.

If you leave the Pakistan people to deal with it by themselves it would be like the people of Chile leaving those miners down there to deal with it by themselves.

Senior Advisor

Re: Canuck, what should we do?

So you think the taliban might like us if we hadn't invaded Afghanistan? May be they should have thought of that before 9-11.

Veteran Advisor

Re: Canuck, what should we do?

Check the facts. The people of Pakistan and Afghanistan did NOT I repeat not attack New York.

The radical terrorists who flew those planes were from Saudi Arabia.

No invasion and I bet there would have been a lot more in that area that would at least put up with you.

Senior Advisor

Re: Canuck, what should we do?

ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL they had to do was hand over bin laden.


Re: Canuck, what should we do?

  Hmm.  Too much beer?  It was Al Qaeda who attacked the Trade Center on 9-11, not the Taliban.   Here learn something-- -- You will not want to know this about Shub and Cheney not wanting to arrest Bin Laudin

On September 21, the Taliban responded to the ultimatum, promising that if the United States could bring evidence that bin Laden was guilty, they would hand him over, stating that they had no evidence linking him to the September 11 attacks.[63]

On September 22, the United Arab Emirates, and later Saudi Arabia, withdrew recognition of the Taliban as Afghanistan's legal government, leaving neighbouring Pakistan as the only remaining country with diplomatic ties. On October 4 the Taliban agreed to turn bin Laden over to Pakistan for trial in an international tribunal[64] that operated according to Islamic Sharia law, but Pakistan blocked the offer as it was not possible to guarantee his safety.[65] On October 7, the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan offered to detain bin Laden and try him under Islamic law if the United States made a formal request and presented the Taliban with evidence. A Bush administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, rejected the Taliban offer, and stated that the US would not negotiate their demands.[66]

On October 14 the Taliban offered to discuss handing over Osama bin Laden to a neutral country in return for a bombing halt, but only if the Taliban were given evidence of bin Laden's involvement.  Once again, the U.S. rejected this offer and continued military operations.

Senior Advisor

Re: Canuck, what should we do?

ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL they had to do was hand over bin laden. What should the relief workers do John, stay and fight the taliban or leave?


Re: Canuck, what should we do?

  You are such a wuss, hysterical dramatic whining all the time.  Do you run around in circles crying when machinery breaks?  I find it difficult to believe you are ag producer, but assuming you use machinery.  The relief workers will stay and solders will try to protect them.  It's a real mess because the US military is in the country bombing and using drones which has killed many civilians, there are a people who object and a enemy that will take advantage.   It is not because they are subhuman, it is because they ARE HUMAN.  GROW UP!!!  


  In Cheney/Shrub's case it is because they are criminals, nothing was going to prevent them from starting this mess, their Lukidite masters would have been furious with them.


  What is the next bit of hysteria you have lined up to whine about?  

Veteran Advisor

Re: Canuck, what should we do?

And it you actually looked at history you would know that could have happened, indeed almost did happen except your war mongering leadership talked you into going to war for some revenge.

Result, hundreds of thousands killed, millions of people around the world who dislike the US AND no Bin Laden.

But as I said before you can not turn back history, you have to live with your mistakes and perhaps some aid workers will die because of those mistakes but not giving Pakistan aid is not really an option.

Senior Advisor

Re: Canuck, what should we do?

If we are such a holes why don't we just leave? Just leave the whole region, let the taliban have it back. Let the taliban provide relief to the flood victums.


BTW who is whining, I ask Canuck what he thought because in another thread he seem to think the US was not pulling it's share of the load as far as relief efforts were concerned. Your the one who went into hysterics, what happened, missed the chisel and got your hand.