Government resources, meanwhile, were eaten up by worldwide recession and the demands of the Pakistani military, whose face-off with Indian troops drains substantial portions of the budget. Overwhelming poverty, Shah said, has led to increased family violence and crime and the trauma they produce, as have decreased educational opportunities. "Children are the main targets of all of this," Shah said.
According to Pakistani journalists in Peshawar, people are waiting to see what the United States will do next. After the bombing and troop incursion, they said Pakistanis wonder whether U.S. foreign policy will yield the kind of nation-building aid that will stabilize the region and create an environment where a host of problems, including the psychological consequences of war, can progress toward resolution.
"We come in with hope," said education specialist Whitaker. "It's the hope that makes the people supersede whatever boundaries they may have."