The Pakistani government began a large air and ground assault yesterday, launching attacks against close to 7,000 Taliban militants in the Swat Valley. The fighting came just hours ahead of meetings between President Barack Obama and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari in Washington to explore ways to boost Islamabad's fight against terror. Now, close to 40,000 Pakistanis are fleeing the battles unfolding in Pakistan's Swat Valley and areas surrounding the Pakistani capital. The mass exodus may spark the biggest refugee crisis Pakistan has ever seen, particularly as reports come in saying the Taliban is blocking exits routes to try to keep civilians in place. Joining The Takeaway from Islamabad is Mark Dummet of the BBC who is covering the refugee situation. Also joining the conversation is Ron Redmond, the chief spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, Switzerland.
For more, read Dexter Filkins' article, Pakistan Strife Fills a Hospital With Refugees
, in today's New York Times.