All schools and universities in three of the country's four provinces were shut down for the week by the government following the attack.
As followed the military operation in Swat Valley international humanitarian groups are preparing for an exodus of refugees but are having difficulty gaining access to the tribal areas. The United Nations estimates that 170,000 people will be displaced but other estimates put that number at 350,000. An estimated 150,000 people have already fled according to the AP.
Gul Zazir abandoned his home in the village of Makeen with eight family members. Like most, he told the AP he prefers to live with relatives or friends in nearby towns rather than a refugee camp which he compares to "living under God's mercy."
"How many more times do I have to leave my home in search of safety for my family, isn't this enough?" asked Hakee Jan, another refugee who fled his village of Sara Rogha.
The government is hoping Operation Rahe Nejat will finally end the militant threat stemming from South Waziristan. The greater Pakistani population will be watching closely to see what kind of independent progress the military can make. There are signs that within Pakistan the population is growing weary of foreign dependence, particularly reliance on the U.S.
The recently announced $7.5 billion U.S. aid package drew sharp internal criticism in Pakistan. In a survey conducted by pollster Gilani/Gallup Pakistan 60 percent of those asked believe it won't improve Pakistan's economy, 62 percent of those asked do not believe Pakistan is surviving on foreign aid. The aid package, part of the Kerry-Lugar Bill, requires lawmakers within Pakistan to certify to Congress that the country is making progress in the fight against terror. Critics believe conditioning military aid is problematic and can undermine improving the relationship between the two countries.
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is in the region and met with military leaders soon after Operation Rahe Nejat was launched.
The offensive is expected to last two months.