Ex-rebels in Takhar complain govt left them in the lurch
TALOQAN (Pajhwok): Reconciled Taliban militants in northern Takhar province on Wednesday claimed they faced threats to their lives from former comrades and the government was also not committed to its promises.
About three months back, Taliban militants captured Darqad district from Afghan forces who recaptured the district from militants a month later.
A number of militants joined the peace process after Afghan forces took control of the district. The reconciling Taliban complained they faced several problems after leaving insurgency.
Fida Mohammad, a resident of Darqad district who shunned insurgency, told Pajhwok Afghan News they joined the government-initiated peace process a month back, but now they faced with several problems.
“I was not an insurgent, but Taliban forced to take gun after they captured Darqad district. then I joined the peace process after Afghan forces captured the district, but now the Taliban have warned me they would kill me because I handed over their weapons to government,” he said.
He said the government should remain committed to its promises and protect their lives against militants.
“The provincial High Peace Committee provided me salary only for the first month and after that they said they had no more budget and I should earn money myself. Now neither I can go to my village nor I can stay in the city,” Mohammad added.
He said one of his friends had been killed by militants for joining the peace process.
Another former rebel, a resident of Khwaja Bahauddin district, who wished not to be named, also said the Taliban were threatening them.
He said the militants had warned him to rejoin the group or he and his family would be put to death.
He said the government also left them alone and even did not provide them residential homes for living.
“We have no option but to rejoin the militants as the government doesn’t seem sincere towards its commitment,” the ex-fighter added.
Takhar HPC spokesman Mir Bahauddin Seddiqi confirmed the government was yet to help the reconciling militants.
He said donor countries had stopped funding the High Peace Council, rendering the body unable to provide jobs to surrendering militants.
But he assured the problem would be resolved and salaries to the former rebels would be restarted soon.
The governor’s spokesman, Sunatullah Taimori, said they had talked with officials in the central government to provide an urgent solution to the problem.
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