UN Abandons Northwest Pakistan After Latest Bombing

All International Staff to Leave NWFP, FATA

In the wake of today’s bombing in Rawalpindi, the United Nations announced that it is withdrawing all international staff from Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), effectively ending its already suspended long term development work in the area.

The move comes just a week after the UN mission in Afghan lost five staff members to an assault on a Kabul guesthouse. The attack left the UN scrambling to boost its security in the region.

But unlike in Afghanistan, today’s move in Pakistan doesn’t appear to be directly related to any single attack. The UN lost 11 staffers in a rash of attacks across the nation, but the personnel appear to have been largely incidental in the massive attacks since Pakistan launched its South Waziristan offensive.

The UN says it still hasn’t decided which humanitarian programs will be ended, but has promised that it won’t entirely end assistance to the area.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.