NARRARI Pakistan (Reuters) – Charities that the United Nations says are linked to militant groups are helping hungry Pakistanis fleeing a recent military offensive as the official number of those seeking aid reached nearly 900,000 on Monday.
Bureaucratic mix-ups mean some families did not receive food, the families told Reuters, despite queuing for days in the sun.
Groups like Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), a charity that both the United Nations and the United States say is a front for a banned militant group, are filling the gaps, raising fears that the towns and cities in the northwestern region of Bannu could become a fertile recruiting ground for militants.
Most families fled to Bannu after the military launched an anti-Taliban push in the border region of North Waziristan last month.
“The government bombed our villages and forced us to leave our homes but failed to register us and give us shelter and food,” said father Qurban Ali in the village of Narrari.
“These people of JuD are better than the government. First they gave us cooked rice and cold drinks and now they are providing us rations.”
The National Disaster Management Agency said nearly 900,000 people had registered for aid. But aid groups say the true number of needy is estimated to be below 600,000 as many entries are fraudulent.
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