You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of democracy, social justice and the equality of mankind in your own native soil. [Mohammed Ali Jinnah]

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Distt. Buner locals form more lashkars to fight militants

Buner Locals Form militia to fight Talibanpicutre source: related news story

Second time in 2 years, the local tribesmen have taken up arms against the Pakistani Taliban to resist their forced entry into the Distt. Buner.

Last year, close to 400 local residents were killed, when they barricaded the mountain pass and river crossing at Khogan, to the Disst.Buner from the Swat valley, then a strong hold of Maulana Fazlullah and Mangal Bagh's militia's.

The locals formed up militia's to keep the Taliban out, and not provide the Army an excuse to come in the scenic Buner. They are of the view that Army's presence gives TTP an excuse to barge into the area, and vice versa. The local residents vowed not to let their hometowns become a battle field between the two.

Local Police is the only law enforcement agency that is trusted by the residents of Buner, as is evident from yesterday's clashes in which two policemen and two locals were killed, jointly fighting off the TTP militia at Koghan.

This time around, Dawn Newspaper reports that seven militia's of 100 each have been formed by the locals, administered by the influential elders, to hold key strategic positions. Last year they were able to thwart TTP advances and managed to keep the area military free, but only after a toll of 100's of deaths.

Current events, have already kicked off as a bloody standoff between the locals and TTP from Swat. This time around Army has increased its presence in the area already, and seems less prepared to let the civilians fight off the Taliban all by themselves.

For Dawn News Report, please click here

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