Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has expressed concern over the displacement of people in the Swat Valley as the troops intensified their battle against the Taliban in the region, killing at least 200 militants over the weekend.
The Pakistani leader has directed the local authorities to help the displaced civilians in the conflict, mainly in the Swat Valley and Malakand division in North West Frontier Province (NWFP), the Online news agency reported on Sunday.
Zardari said the issue of rehabilitation of the displaced people came up for discussion during his talks with the US leadership recently.
He urged the international community to help the government in its efforts for the safe return of people to their homes. He added that the rehabilitation of the affected population is a top priority of the government.
The president, who is currently in the US, has asked the relevant government departments to help the civilians, mainly women and children, caught in the conflict.
Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani has declared a war against the Taliban, which he said is a threat to the country.
The Pakistani government has allocated Rs one billion (about $12 million) to help the displaced people. Zardari said the amount would be increased if required.