Some of the nearly two million Pakistanis displaced by fighting between
the government and Taliban are heading home on the first day of an
organized return to the battle-scarred Swat Valley.
Hundreds of families traveled Monday on government buses and army trucks from refugee camps located near Peshawar.
Officials say the displaced will return home in stages. But some are
refusing to go back, saying they are fearful for their security and
they have not received $300 in aid promised to them by the government.
Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said Monday Pakistan will need $2.6 billion for reconstruction and rehabilitation.
He described the anti-Taliban military offensive as successful. But
local reports say Taliban militants are still active in the region and
continue to intimidate residents.
Pakistan launched the offensive against Islamic militants in three
northwestern districts in April after militants advanced to an area
just 100 kilometers from the capital, Islamabad.
Pakistan says nearly 1,700 militants were killed in the offensive. That number has not been independently verified.