Sherzai (Afghanistan)

Country: Afghanistan
Details of Formation: The group originated in September 2001 as the private militia of a warlord (Sherzai), who was governor of Kandahar before and after Taliban rule.
Details of Termination: Plans for disarmament in Afghanistan did not include guidelines for the termination of this militia and similar ones also commanded by warlords. In 2005 Sherzai was removed as governor of Kandahar and transferred to Jalalabad, but it is unclear how this affected his militia. We code the group as terminated in 2007 due to evidence of President Karzai turning against it.
Purpose: The group was mainly used to fight the Taliban and tasked with defence duties and the provision of transportation services by the Canadian government. It also protected Nato bases, important routes and supplied intelligence and personnel for US operations.
Organisation: The group was controlled by Sherzai, the former governor of Kandahar, and financially supported by the US and Canada. It also cooperated militarily with US and Nato forces.
Weapons and Training: --
Size: --
Reason for Membership: It is reported that members were known to bribe and extort people which may be a possible incentive to join the group.
Treatment of Civilians: The PGM has been accused of human rights abuses and bribed, extorted and stole from civilians.
Other Information: Sherzai’s militia received money from the Canadian and US military. It is presumed to have some ties to private security firms. This private army allowed Sherzai to gain significant control over Kandahar and allegedly enabled him to benefit from Nato convoys and drug trade passing through the city.
References: Human Rights Watch. 2003. “Killing you Is a very easy thing for us. Human Rights Abuses in Southeast Afghanistan.” Vol. 15, No. 5.

Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD.