Pakistan appeals for help for war displaced

Pakistan's president appealed to the world on Tuesday to help more than 1 million people facing "a human catastrophe" because they were forced to flee their homes in a Taliban stronghold in the Swat Valley during the ongoing government offensive launched after heavy US pressure. Standing beside UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, President Asif Ali Zardari said the UN chief was joining in an appeal for humanitarian assistance. Ban said the UN was ready to provide humanitarian assistance to Pakistanis displaced by the conflict, but he said he urged Zardari "first and foremost" to protect human lives during the military operation.