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    ISI lures illiterate youth to join insurgency: ex-fighters

    MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): Former insurgents who on Sunday joined the peace process in northern Balkh province accused Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the spy service, of motivating illiterate youth into embarking on armed resistance against the Afghan government.

    Ex-fighter Salahudin, who served in a 5-member insurgent group loyal to a Taliban commander, Mohammad Daud, expressed his pleasure over joining the government-initiated peace programme. 

    Salahuddin said he joined the rebel group with the help of ISI and had been an active insurgent in his area for two years before his surrender.

    He said the group was told to burn schools, kill teachers and commit crimes. He said he did not want to be a criminal mind person and thus decided to return to a normal life.

    Speaking at a ceremony welcoming surrendering individuals, Balk High Peace Council chief, Akhtar Mohammad Ibrahim Khel said the group that renounced violence had been active in Charbolak district.

    The ex-fighters could be recruited in local police, besides running their own businesses, he said. The surrendering men also turned in their weapons.