Pakistan’s Civilians Pay Heavy Price for Military’s Offensive

Growing Frustration Over 'Unending War'

Since the recent invasion of the South Waziristan Agency, militants have been launching an ever growing number of high profile attacks, hitting many government targets but also taking a rising toll on Pakistan’s civilian population.

The most recent string of bombings hit in and around the major city of Peshawar, which caused hundreds of civilian casualties in crowded marketplaces. Though Peshawar hasn’t had any direct fighting, it has had to cope with influxes of millions of refugees, and has also seen many attacks.

Locals are asking why they are becoming such a common target, and some are annoyed that the government continues to expand the operations, from tiny Bajaur to the Swat Valley, and now to South Waziristan, giving the sense that the nation is in an unending war.

The government has been launching crackdowns in the capital region lately, ostensibly in reaction to a pair of high profile militant attacks. But even that has netted hundreds of “suspicious persons” for charges like having banned alcohol or illegal cell phone SIMs.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.