The Brussels based International Crisis Groups (ICG) recent report, Pakistan: The Worsening IDP Crisis, makes the following points: (1) Pakistans government and international actors must ensure those in flood-devastated conflict zones are urgently granted the needed assistance without the military dictating rehabilitation and reconstruction. (2) Pakistan not only faces an unprecedented natural disaster, but also confronts challenges of stabilising a fragile democratic transition and countering violent extremism. The civilian government, already tackling an insurgency, and its institutions, neglected during nine years of military rule, lack the capacity and means to respond without international assistance. (3) All sides must ensure community-based civil society groups, credible secular NGOs, and elected representatives lead the process. (4) Donors may be tempted to work directly with the military to deliver aid, but this would be dangerous, as the military should provide logistical support only under government control. (5) Following massive displacement in Malakand and Swat, due to militancy and military operations in 2009, the military led the return process, leading to a discriminatory response, the precipitous return of displaced persons to unstabilised areas, and collective punishment of families allegedly sympathetic to the militants. Similar policies in FATA caused 1.4 million to flee, most of whom are unwilling to go back that is leading to anger and alienation - fertile ground for the extremists. (6) There are very clear concerns that if the Pakistani military were to lead the humanitarian response, beyond rescue operations and emergency needs, it would again subordinate humanitarian concerns to military objectives, with the same security risks emerging. (7) As the floods recede, the political leadership must lead the reconstruction phase, ensuring that local communities help identify priorities and strategies, with cost-effective and appropriate projects. National and provincial Parliaments should oversee these efforts, maintaining accountability over donor and government funds through their public accounts committees. (8) If military objectives dictate rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts, a population exhausted by conflict could become a soft target for militants, making stability in the northwest even more elusive. This latest study from the ICG which has been generally critical of Pakistan raises three questions. First of all, where is the ICG coming from and what are its biases? Secondly, is the substance of this concern justified? Thirdly, is the ICG interested in refining the process whereby it prepares its reports? Unlike other leading international human rights NGOs, whose funding is primarily from global civil society and are headed by noted human rights figures, the ICG is largely funded by Western governments and institutions, and headed by Western politicians. Left wing critics have labelled the ICG as a globalist think tank representing the transnational interests of Western powers, occasionally recommending confrontation, the imposition of sanctions and the use of force. Its last head was former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans, who spearheaded expanding the Security Council reform in the UN Secretary Generals High-Level Panel from the consensus around the non-permanent members to the contentious permanent members category. He was a leading proponent of the new concept of the Responsibility to Protect seen as another form of neo-colonialist intervention and which was finally modulated acceptably through the efforts of Pakistans then Ambassador to the UN, Munir Akram. Mr Evans and I have been on opposite sides then and later when, in his International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, he advocated Pakistan immediately agreeing to the FMCT and then moving to give up its nuclear capability. On a personal level, we get on well off the conference floor, and I have always found him a man of integrity, however, misplaced some of his initiatives. When he visited Pakistan as Head of the ICG, I told him that he had put together a virtuous circle. The ICG would come up with extremely critical reports of developing countries, providing an ideological justification for developed countries to intervene through pressure for policy changes. Even if one sets aside criticism of the ICG as unkind, this latest report should be judged on the validity of its core assumptions. This study ignores five essentials facts: First, in natural disasters in Pakistan, including the 2005 earthquake, the military has the only large-scale immediate organised response capacity, and is always called upon by the federal government. The magnitude of the floods disaster is far greater than the previous disasters in Pakistan. Even in the US, the National Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers are often called upon to respond to natural disasters. Second, unlike the Swat and FATA operations leading to IDPs, the flood victims or IDPs are a totally different case without security objectives involved in relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction. After the 2005 earthquake, the military was not involved as a central player in the reconstruction effort. Third, the involvement of the military in development activities in FATA was due to the vacuum created by the breakdown of governance and development structures. Fourth, the armed forces with a hostile India on one border, and a hot 2,600 km Afghan border facing a spillover from the disorder from Afghanistan plus the terrorism and extremism blowback from this long conflict, would be more than happy to get back to their professional duties. Fifth, the relief matrix is built around the cluster system dealing with shelter, health, water and sanitation, agriculture, community restoration, education, food, nutrition, logistics and emergency telecommunications, and protection, dominated by the UN and international agencies working with the government, as 85 percent of the international funding goes to them and NGOs. This is a classic case of putting up a straw man hypothesis to knock it down. More important by doing so, the ICG is diverting the attention from the main issue, although it does bring it up, that of building up the civilian infrastructure and capability to handle disaster and post-disaster situations now and in the future. The ad extreme argument of this study weakens this focus. In disaster response morally, there is no choice between using what is available and not taking action because a preferred alternative is not available. Finally on process, the ICG wants to contribute to prevent and resolve potential conflicts by advising the governments and the international community, primarily Western donors. While the ICG has close contacts with Western donors one has yet to see it engaging at a policy level with the government institutions in Pakistan. With an active Islamabad office it would not have taken them much effort to meet with the NDMA, EAD, ISPR and the Foreign Office to access their viewpoints in advance of finalising this report. If the ICG wants to make an impact on policy makers in Pakistan, it should rethink its strategy and engage with an open, rather than a preconceived mindset. The writer is a retired diplomat, who headed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Emergency Relief Cell after the 2005 Earthquake disaster.