‘Unity govt’s internal rivalries hurt peace bid’
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): The provincial High Peace Committee in northern Balkh province on Sunday said internal rivalries within the unity government had weakened the peace process.
Baz Mohammad Gharibyar, the HPC head for Balkh, told Pajhwok Afghan News the Taliban despite a full blown effort and Pakistan’s and Iran’s support could not succeed in destabilising the country’s north during the winter.
He blamed the continuation of the conflict in Afghanistan on foreign factors, saying the comparatively low violence in Balkh was a result of foreign intelligence agencies’ support for the Taliban.
Though the rebels in Balkh have no exclusive address, the peace body has been able to reconcile dozens of armed militants with the government, Gharibyar said.
He said militants sneaking into Balkh from neighbouring Jawzjan, Sar-i-Pul and Samangan provinces had never been able to stand ground against the Afghan security forces.
He also said the insurgents could not operate in Balkh thanks to people’s cooperation with security forces.
Gharibyar said nearly 100 militants in Chamtal district had left for Faryab province to carry out their activities there after failing to find a safe haven in the district.
Since the inception of the high peace committee in Balkh, 324 Taliban militants have joined the peace process, according to Gharibyar, who said the reconciliation had a positive impact on security on the Mazar-i-Sharif-Shiberghan highway.
He said about 100 of the reconciling militants had been recruited in the Afghan Local Police (ALP) forces.
There are rumours most of the surrendering rebels have returned to the battlefield, but Gharibyar said no such incident had happened in Balkh.
The peace negotiator did not reply to a question about ALP forces involvement in harassing residents in remote areas, but said the ex-fighters in the forces had not harassed people.
Gharibyar thanked the people of Balkh for their cooperation with the government in bringing peace and stability to the country.
He said the peace committee had launched eight different welfare projects worth more than $200,00 in various areas during the past two years and some of the projects had been put into service after their completion.
About no major breakthrough so far in the peace process, Gharibyar said the government was responsible for that not the High Peace Council.
He said internal differences in the unity government had weakened military and political pressures on the insurgents.
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