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Pakistani refugees and Taliban spies?

Reporters on the Job: Walking into the Bajaur refugee camp on the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan, I was struck by the squalid conditions. I’d been told it was bad, but there was no gas for cooking, no electricity, or running water.

It was hard to get people to open up about the Taliban. After a while, I learned that they didn’t want to be frank with me because they feared that Taliban spies had infiltrated the camp. As usual, when you go into these situations, people gathered around. I found that I had to take people aside and talk to them one on one to get them to open.

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I would try to steer the conversation to the situation in Bajaur, and the Pakistan military's cease-fire with the Taliban (read the Monitor's story here). But often, they wanted to talk about how terrible the conditions were in the camp - about the storm that blew their tents in the air. The suspicion is that the government is doing little because it doesn’t want the people to be tempted to stay. It wants people to go back to their villages.


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