IT must have been reassuring for the IDPs in the camp set up by the Red Crescent in Swabi to find President Zardari among themselves as he rarely makes a public appearance on account of the security concerns. He visited various sections of the camp, exchanged views with the displaced people and listened to their complaints. He promised to set up a model camp at Jalozai where required amenities would be provided to the IDP. He assured them that they would soon return to their homes and the government would help rebuild their houses. Upgrading a single camp would not do. The IDPs number is fast increasing. On Friday, the NWFP Information Minister said there were now three million displaced persons in the province. Many are still staying outside the camps with their relatives who in most cases are not well to do. In the days to come most of them are likely to be forced to seek shelter in the camps. The IDPs face numerous problems. Unused as they are to the hot climate of the NWFP plains, camp life for those from Swat and Buner has become really taxing. They are living with their families in tents, which are highly uncomfortable in the hot weather and will become humid and oppressive when the rainy season sets in. Children are particularly badly affected by the displacement. Many are suffering from heat stroke, gastroenteritis, and skin ailments. IDPs suffering from serious ailments can receive scant specialist assistance. In case of another military operation starting in Waziristan, which seems to be in the offing, lakhs of more would become displaced and need government's help. What is required therefore is not only to improve their living conditions and provide necessary amenities in the camps but also to speed up the ongoing operation in Swat and the rest of the Malakand Agency. This would facilitate the return of the IDPs to whatever is left of their homes. The government should meanwhile direct the civil administration to start taking charge of the areas cleared by the army. Further, it should plan to initiate development and rehabilitation in these areas. The announcement of head money for top TTP leaders and its subsequent enhancement would hopefully help in their apprehension. As long as the militant leadership remains free, it would be hard to break the morale of their followers. That it continues to move around freely and issue statements is a reflection on the performance of the security agencies. One had expected that they would be keeping track of their movements before and during the ongoing operation. With their network spread down to the smaller towns, this should not have been difficult. Now that the security agencies are themselves on the hit list of the militants, one hopes they would put their act together.