A message from Osama bin Laden broadcast on Al-Jazeera television last week blamed the US for the refugee crisis in Pakistan. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports that U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke rejected the blame. Holbrooke visited a refugee camp last Thursday, telling Pakistanis that the US can offer them aid, but not security. The U.S. has already pledged $110 million in aid to the refugees, and President Obama is pushing to send another $200 million.
The Pakistani military has been fighting the Taliban in the Swat Valley since early May, which has displaced up to two million people. Gary Dahl is a native of Northfield, Minnesota and he is leading the Minneapolis-based American Refugee Committee’s efforts to provide assistance to the internally displaced persons. Dahl spoke on the phone from Pakistan to KFAI News Director Ahndi Fridell.
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