Anti-Taliban militias may pose threat: Akbarzada
GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): The acting governor on Wednesday warned groups waging an uprising against the Taliban in central Ghazni province could create problems for the government in future if the militias were not officially approved.
Musa Khan Akbarzada said he had repeatedly asked higher authorities to let the militias join local police force in order to control them and prevent them from acting on their own, but failed to elicit a positive response.
In a veiled reference to the anti-Taliban groups active in Andar, Muqar and Gilan districts, the acting governor said they had information that irresponsible armed groups were involved in harassing residents and extortion.
He said local residents had been complaining they were fed up with the armed men who had no legal status. Akbarzada warned the groups could challenge government’s writ in future if their fate was not decided.
Provincial council members said there were about 400 irresponsible gunmen in Ghanzi and they harassed locals by forcing them to pay taxes and imprisoning elders.
Abdul Jami Jami, the PC deputy head, said the armed groups could become a serious threat to the government in future. He claimed some officials wanted to keep the militias active in order to commit fraud with their help in the upcoming parliamentary polls.
But Jami admitted the anti-Taliban militias had rendered many sacrifices in their struggle to keep the insurgents at bay and said the government had failed to reinforce them.
“When the government is not paying them salaries, the tribesmen have no choice but to ask people for money. The uprising groups should be absorbed into the local police force,” he suggested.
But an uprising leader in the Andar district, Pacha, denied they had ever harassed local residents or forced them to pay money. He said they had never imprisoned an innocent person.
The commander urged the government to appoint them in security forces and assist them with weapons and bullets to keep their areas secure from anti-state elements.
But his account was rejected by a resident of Andar’s Chahar Diwal area, Lal Mohammad, saying the uprising members often detained local residents and snatched their belongings.
“They detained our six innocent villagers and set them free in return for 200,000 Pakistani rupees,” he said, but did not say which group was involved.
The uprising members say they picked up guns against Taliban insurgents after their atrocities became unbearable.
The groups have so far cleared many areas from insurgents, but currently they are struggling with many problems due to a lack of government’s support.
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