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30 Taliban join peace process in Kandahar

30 Taliban join peace process in Kandahar

Feb 21, 2011 - 18:46

KANDAHAR CITY (PANinfo-icon): Thirty fighters joined the peace process in southern Kandahar province on Monday, the first group to shun the insurgency in the Talibaninfo-icon's heartland, Governor Toryalai Weesa said.

The militants surrendered their weapons to intelligence officials at a ceremony in Kandahar City, the governor told Pajhwok Afghan News. The provincial council, intelligence and police chiefs were also present.

Militant commander, Tor Jan, renounced the insurgency along with dozens of his associates, Weesa said. The rebel leader from Arghandab district was repentant for his involvement in violence, he added.

While promising to help the men return to the social mainstream and provide them with financial assistance, the governor urged all fighters to follow in the footsteps of their former associates.

Jan was recently appointed as Taliban's military commander for Panjwai district, where he headed the 30-member group, said Gen. Naeem Momin, the National Directorate of Security head for Kandahar.

Ahmad Wali Karzai, the provincial council chief, asked the militants to benefit from the government's reintegration drive. The ongoing war was detrimental to Afghans and served the interests of outsiders, he said, without naming anyone. He also offered cash assistance to the 30 individuals.

Jan echoed Karzai's view and said the Taliban's jihadinfo-icon was in the interest of "foreigners" and that was why they had joined the peace process. "Outsiders are pitting us against each other," he added.   



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