Local Militia as a Counterterrorism Strategy and Peacebuilding in the erstwhile FATA
The lashkars have a very long history in the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan. These lashkars were usually constituted in a short span of time to respond quickly to any deteriorating law and order situation. The participants usually acted as volunteers to settle the disputes and soon dispersed. No doubt, this is the concept of the traditional lashkars that provided a basis for the raising of the peace lashkars. This was an announced or informal strategy of the government to counter militants in the tribal belt. However, some terms like Aman lahkar or Aman lashkar were locally used for the anti-Taliban militias to counter the Taliban in the former FATA. Though the peace lashkars never got any formal name but the government fully supported them by issuing them special permits to keep sophisticated, automatic weapons like AK-47 to combat the militants. The paper investigates the historical perspective behind the formation of the anti-Taliban militias. However, the paper mainly analyse the role of the Anti-Taliban militias in the counterinsurgency and peacebuilding in the erstwhile FATA.