But...I thought the government arming civilian militias was a baaaad thing....


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armoredman
February 22, 2009, 12:55 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090222/ap_on_re_as/as_pakistan

By ASIF SHAHZAD, Associated Press Writer Asif Shahzad, Associated Press Writer 48 mins ago
ISLAMABAD The local government will distribute 30,000 rifles to villagers to help security forces fight the growing strength of Taliban and al-Qaida militants in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province, a top official said Sunday.

Similar village militias, backed by the United States, have been credited with reducing violence in Iraq, and a comparable initiative was under way in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has been trying to allay U.S. concerns that peace talks with Taliban militants in the region were tantamount to surrender. But it was unclear if the embattled North West Frontier Province government's plan had the backing of national leaders or the army.

Haider Khan Hoti, chief minister of the provincial government, said authorities would distribute the guns among "peaceful groups and individuals" so they could help police to guard their villages.

Officials would consult with local police before handing out the arms and would take them back if they were not used against "terrorists and mischief mongers," Hoti's office said in a written statement.

The statement said the guns had been seized from "terrorists and anti-state elements."

It did not say when the weapons would be handed out, or if villagers would be armed in the province's Swat valley, where security forces and Taliban militants are observing a week-old cease-fire while seeking a peace accord.

Pakistan army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said the army had not been consulted about arming village militias. Interior Ministry spokesman Shahidullah Baig was also unaware of the plan.

A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy could not be immediately reached for comment.


Hand out confiscated firearms to stop terrorism and "mischief mongers"? Hmm.

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Old Fuff
February 22, 2009, 01:42 PM
Oh you are so dumb! :uhoh:

You simplay don't understand, but I will explain... :)

It's O.K. to arm foreign militias with modern military weapons,...

But not the Militia of the United States. We can never trust the American people to have anything like that. :confused: :rolleyes:

Hungry Seagull
February 22, 2009, 02:49 PM
Hm. Pakistan has given over Swat Valley or whatever the place is in the North West to the Taliban.

Hm. Villagers to get 30K weapons? And I presume ammo to go with those weapons?

I feel that these villagers will either turn to become Taliban or start offing other people in a downward spiral.

I suspect Pakistan is sliding down a gentle slope and we might have to fight them someday. But that is just me.

LAK
February 22, 2009, 03:29 PM
They did this in Peru a decade or so ago when the "Shining Path" communists were marauding towns and villages. Highlighted in a story as a success at the time in National Geographic of all rags.

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yokel
February 22, 2009, 03:31 PM
I certainly wouldn't mess with a bunch of hardcore Islamic militants heavily armed with machine guns, mortars and RPGs.

It's Maulana Fazlullah's guys that are beheading and burning their way through the Swat Valley and now control the picturesque northwest region once dubbed "the Switzerland of Pakistan".

jpwilly
February 22, 2009, 03:56 PM
Actually, this realistic approach makes me think somebody may actually know what they are up against in the region. Arm the locals let them fight and die) for their freedom and when it's won they will have something to be proud of and defend in the future. Just like you and I most of these people want freedom and a government of their own people to represent them. Handing the keys of freedom over to people who don't care is the same as giving your money to a full time beggar.

yokel
February 22, 2009, 04:46 PM
Well, the article doesn't mention anything about the villagers getting any small arms and basic combat training.

How about some target practice as well as firearm cleaning and maintenance instruction?

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