London, UK, February 26 2009 – The NWFP provincial government announced on the 22nd February that it will arm local people in the tribal areas with 30,000 small arms as part of a newly announced Village Defence Committee in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Mahmood Shah, a former head of security for Pakistan’s tribal regions, reacted by saying arming civilians could trigger civil war in the northwest saying "This is Pakistan, not Iraq or Afghanistan. There is complete anarchy in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that is not the case her. It is not going to help."
Commenting on this latest development, Taji Mustafa, Media representative of Hizb ut Tahrir Britain said “This decision by the provincial NWFP rulers to provide 30,000 small arms to hand picked local villagers is yet another step on the road to disaster in a civil war that is being driven by America. No responsible government would distribute such weaponry to ordinary people on such a scale. It represents the Zardari regime’s next step in forming local militias or Lashkars which it had already started in 2008.”
“The American Army with its continued airstrikes has failed to achieve their objectives and this latest American inspired Zardari ploy will only spill more Muslim blood.”
“This plan to continue arming local militias will actually help sow further discord and hatred amongst the people in an already tense and volatile situation. The Americans are attempting to use the local tribal villagers do their dirty work by getting them to fight each other. The Americans have long been trying to emulate their Iraqi strategy of the ‘Awakening Councils’, in which they attempted to buy the loyalty of tribal villagers with dollars in Iraq; this as we know has only created deep division and bloodshed in Iraq and now threatens to do the same in Pakistan.”
“It is important to remember that before the Americans arrived in the region in 2001 there was no fighting in the tribal regions, there was no deployment of the Pakistan army or the existence of local Lashkers fighting other tribal villagers. This latest act provides further clear evidence of the continued collusion of the Zardari regime to bring further American engineered chaos to destabilise and divide Pakistan.”