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Creation of militia groups to derail peace talks: Experts

Creation of militia groups to derail peace talks: Experts

Jul 26, 2015 - 16:59

KABUL (Pajhwok): Political analysts believed creation of militia groups to fight insurgents would only serve interest of individuals and harm peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban.

After 14 years of insurgency, Taliban and the Afghan government held first round of direct talks in Murree, a tourist resort close to Islamabad.

High ranking government officials included President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, who stepped up efforts for peace talks, were optimistic that negotiations would lead to lasting peace in the country.

In the changing scenario, incidents of insecurity were on the rise and some circles had been trying to arm former Jihadi commanders under pretext of fight against Daesh and other militant groups in order to sabotage peace talks.

Political analysts, however, believe history showed that creation of independent militia did not bring peace to the country rather armed groups led to insecurity and chaos in the country.

Atiqullah Amarkhel, a military analyst, said specific foreign and internal elements had been trying to derail the ongoing peace parlays because the success of talks with Taliban might put their personal interest in danger.

He said after the collapse of Dr. Najibullah government it was militia groups who fueled civil war, stormed public properties, homes and looted government resources.

He termed independent militia groups dangerous than Daesh and Taliban and warned empowering such groups would again destroy the state institutions.

Majority of the residents also believed that Afghan Local Police (ALP) and volunteer security forces did not discharge their responsibility. They sometime stood with security forces and sometimes joined the Taliban ranks.

The residents believed that government should focus and spend more resources and Afghan National Army (ANA) and mainstream police rather creating militia and ALP.

Recently, Abdul Rashid Dustam, the first vice president and head of the Jumbish-i-Islami, and Atta Mohammad Noor, the governor of Balkh and executive director of the Jamiat-i-Islami formed an alliance to fight Taliban and other insurgent groups in the north.

Dostam has just travelled to Faryab to organize people against Taliban, but some circles were still concerned over creation of independent militia groups.

Sultan Mohammad Faizi, spokesman for the first vice president, said that Dostam had been in Faryab following directives by the president and rejected rumours of creation of militia groups.

He made it clear that any action against insurgents would be taken in line with the law of the state.

Afghanistan has around 400,000 security personnel, including personnel of police, Afghan National Army (ANA) and National Directorate of Security (NDS).

Abdul Ghafoor Sherzad, a political analyst, said the country’s security forces had the responsibility to protect country and its inhabitants. He said creation of militia groups was against law of the land.

Sidique Siddiqui, spokesman of the Ministry of Interior (MoI), said that government was against creation of militia groups and distribution of arms to locals. He said such efforts would have negative results in the long-run.

He, however, said creation of militia groups and uprising groups was totally different. A handful of people in parts of the country with their own weapons raised against Taliban and expelled them from their locality.

On the other hand, Javed Kohistani, an expert on military affairs, said it was government weakness that could not end insurgency and allow people to get arms against insurgents.

He said due to government negligence Taliban, Daesh, Hizb-ul-Tahrir continued to expand their activities in parts of the country and in the given situation people had the right to defend themselves.