Pakistan, Lashkars, civil militia, Massimo Berruti
Lashkars is a name as old as Islam, it refers to the tribal warriors. Since September 2009 a new kind of operation has been launched in the Swat Valley. The Pastu civil society, traditionally trained in the use of weapons, and already involved in the fight against the Taliban, got official recognition from the Pakistani Army.
The Lashkars are not taking any material support from the army, that only recognizes them, and their useful role in the war against militancy. Many of them have been fighting before and during the military operation started in May 2009, but now their main role is to make sure the Taliban are not coming back in the valley.
This role is particularly important with the current flood, as the Taliban are claimed to come back hiding themselves among the refugees and taking advantage of the chaos generated by the flood. The Lashkars people are an example of the counterinsurgency policy that the USA wants to establish in Afghanistan as a new exit-strategy.