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Village Defence Party

A fourth auxiliary force, known as the Village Defence Party, was formed by Zia in 1976. As its designation indicates, the Village Defence Party was charged with routine village security duties, in addition to its primary mission of promoting rural improvement projects, such as digging canals. Under Zia's 1980 Self-Sufficient Village Government Plan, 6 million men and 4 million women were enrolled in local Village Defence Party units. The organization, overseen by the Ministry of Home Affairs, played a peripheral role in village security. After Zia's assassination in 1981, the Village Defence Party plan became less visible, though many of the rural development aspects of the program were continued as part of Ershad's decentralization effort (see Local Administration , ch. 4).

Data as of September 1988