Faryab rebel groups join peace process
MAIMANA (PAN): With the surrender of two armed opposition groups, the number of militants joining the peace process has reached 270 in western Faryab province, officials said on Sunday.
Governor Mohammadullah Batash told Pajhwok Afghan News that a 12-member group -- headed by Mullah Abdul Samad -- surrendered in Pashtunkot district
A second eight-member group, led by Zabihullah, had been involved in anti-government activities in Qarghan district, the governor said. The ex-militants turned in 20 weapons, including Kalashnikovs, machine guns and pistols.
Welcoming the 20 men at his office in Maimana, Abdul Samad promised them necessary facilities, including security and livelihood opportunities.
On the occasion, Zabihullah said: “I was misguided by propaganda from clerics trained in Pakistan.” The mullahs repeatedly told them the war against the government and destruction of bridges and roads were legal acts, he alleged.
But they realised later on that such acts amounted to disloyalty toward their homeland, he said, referring to their decision join the peace process, relinquish violence and live with dignity. He sought jobs for the erstwhile fighters in security forces.
In response, the governor promised to consider their demand for employment and livelihood sources.
Faryab Peace Committee head Maulvi Asadullah Jamal said with the surrender of the two groups, the number of rebels joining the reconciliation drive in Faryab had gone up to 270.
He said each surrendering group leader would be paid 13,000 afs ($229) and each member 8,000 in salary over the next six months.
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