Pakistan’s Orakzai Offensive Drives Another 200,000 Civilians From Home

Displacement Accounts for Nearly Half of Agency's Population

Fighting has continued apace in Pakistan’s Orakzai Agency since the start of the latest offensive in the beginning of March, and according to United Nations figures some 200,000 civilians from the region have been displaced.

200,000 civilians may seem hardly a drop in the bucket, out of around 1.5 million Pakistanis currently displaced from FATA and the NWFP offensives. But the 200,000 represents nearly half of the population of tiny Orakzai, a region which has been something of an afterthought in Pakistan’s endless wars in the tribal areas.

Indeed, the invasion of Orakzai was virtually an accidental military offensive. Pakistan invaded South Waziristan in late autumn and, having managed to neither kill nor capture any major leaders of the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), concluded that they must have moved to neighboring Orakzai.

And certainly there has been more militant presence in Orakzai and Khyber since the Waziristan offensive, but again months of offensives in these regions has displaced many civilians, killed many others, and netted no major TTP leaders.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.