After months of vacillating, Pakistan finally launched a military offensive – Zarb-e-Azb – against the Taliban in North Waziristan to destroy the militants’ sanctuaries in the region. Initially, the Pakistan Air Force made only air strikes, sending F-16s and Mirage fighters to pound suspected militant hideouts in the mountains to disorient the Taliban. A ground offensive by the Pakistan Army was launched in the next phase with the land forces, supported by gunship helicopters, combing through the area. Pakistan also asked Afghanistan to seal the border from its side to avoid the possibility of militants crossing over to take refuge in Afghanistan.
Hundreds of local people left their houses in the wake of the operation. To facilitate the internally displaced persons, camps were set up in safer areas of FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where the IDPs were provided basic facilities such as clean drinking water, electricity and health service. According to reports, instead of providing relief goods and food, the government initially provided each displaced family a cash grant of Rs.12,000 to take care of their needs. Later, they would be provided with Rs.7,000 on a monthly basis.