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Former Taliban leaders regret reconciling with govt

Former Taliban leaders regret reconciling with govt

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Feb 25, 2020 - 10:46

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Former Talibaninfo-icon who reconciled with the government is not happy with their current life and regrets their reconciliation due to the government’s behavior.

Former Kandahar Police Chief Gen. Abdul Razeq through his personal influence had encouraged many Taliban leaders to reconcile and renounce violence.

As a result of Gen. Razeq’s efforts, at least 39 high ranking Taliban officials who served in the past as governors, district chiefs and commanders, joined the peace process and returned to their homes. But after his assassination, the process of reconciliation stopped.

Mualvi Mohammad Mansour Hussaini is one of those Taliban who reconciled at the invitation of Gen. Razeq.

Apart from Hussaini, other Taliban who reconciled did not want to face the media and publish information related to them.

Hussaini served as police chief of Badghis province, head of the Olyampic Committee, military head of southern zone and later performed different military duties in Taliban ranks.

He contested last year’s Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon election and heads the 39-member group of the Taliban who joined peace process.

Hailing efforts of Gen. Razeq, Hussaini said he was a man of character and action. He wanted all Afghans to get together irrespective of their ideological differences.

Hussaini said as a result of efforts of former Kandahar police chief, many people renounced violence and reconciled.

The former Taliban leader was happy for joining peace process but was disappointed from the government. He said without Gen. Razeq, no authority supported them.

“The government provided no support to Taliban leaders who reconciled. Government did not provide them with residency or jobs,” he said.

Referring to 2018 Wolesi Jirga elections, he said despite gaining more votes, the government did not allow him to succeed and represent the province in the parliament.

“I got over 5,000 votes in elections, but the IECinfo-icon stole my votes and supported candidates who collected 1,500 votes,” he said.

He claimed the then Election Commission head demanded $50,000 from him and warned if money was not provided, he would be declared unsuccessful.

Hussain said due to this injustice and unfairness, he was badly disappointed over his decision to reconcile.

He also shared one of his bitter memories of the past and said, “Few years back I was military commander on Ghazni-Kabulinfo-icon road with the Taliban, I joined my family in Quetta when a Pakistani colonel came to me and asked me that we should give some part of (transit tax) to him of Ghazni-Kabul highway.”

Hussaini said the Pakistani military man’s words hurt him and he disputed with him that he was fighting for his own country, not for others.

“Twenty days after the Pakistani military man met me, a group of five individuals came to me and fired 27 bullets at me but God protected me,” he said.

“Local Islamic scholars helped me a lot and they treated my wounds, that was the time when Gen. Abdul Raziq contacted me and sent me a delegation, I then came to my country,” he said.

He added that several government officials including governors, district chiefs, commanders and other figures visited him immediately after he arrived to his country.

He said he appeared in media and was interviewed but others who joined the government did not talk to media due to security reasons.

About recent development in peace talks, he said, “Both the warring parties, the government and the Taliban, are controlled by others, peace talks are managed by outsiders.”

He said the peace talks would not be effective until they were controlled by Afghans.

“The Taliban regime first emerged from Kandahar province and it was also first threatened from the same province, so peace negotiations would not yield any results until Kandahar is part of the negotiations, he said. “Neither the government, nor the Taliban have cared about this issue,” he added.

Hussaini said Kandahar influential figures could play an important role in the peace process.

Another former Taliban member, who wished to go unnamed, said that he was a regional commander of Taliban in Kandahar city five years ago.

He said he along with his friends shunned insurgency after Gen. Abdul Razeq encouraged them to do so. He also complained against the government and said promises made with them were not implemented.

When Razeq was alive, he was paying somehow attention to us but we are forgotten after his death and even face more problems now”, he said.

He said the government’s promises were empty and only a campaign as some organs created problems for them.

“There are some circles who accuse us of links with the Taliban, we should understand the situation in Afghanistaninfo-icon, a person here maybe with Taliban and his brother maybe with the government, one of my cousins is a Taliban commander,” he said.

He said he would never have joined the government if he knew they would face disrespect and dishonor.

“In the past, only the government was our enemy but now the Taliban are also enemy, we cannot move freely and live in peace,” he said.

About ongoing peace talks, he said that despite people’s high hopes about the peace talks, but he personally was not very hopeful.

He said peace talks would be futile until both sides independently discussed peace without involvement of others.

Meanwhile, another former Taliban member, who wished to go unnamed, told Pajhwok that he had served as chief for several Kandahar districts  but he was too unhappy over joining peace process. He said since reconciling with the government, he had been facing revengeful behavior.

accused government officials of double standards, adding they were used to receive credits for themselves as they were not appointed to serve Islam, country and nation.

He said after joining the peace process, he confronted with multiple problems and threats and had been unable to visit his family.

He said, “Not giving us value, neither Taliban militants allow us safely in the area.”

He believed if the former police chief was still alive, they might not have faced with such situation.

Haji Fida Mohammad Afghan, a member of the provincial council and resident of Spin Boldak district, told Pajhwok that if slain Gen. Abdul Razeq was still alive, he might have done a lot of work for the peace process.

He added Gen. Razeq had contracts at the Taliban Quetta Shurainfo-icon (Council) through which he motivated some Taliban militants to join the peace process and return to normal life.

He said around 39 Taliban shadow governors and districts chiefs had joined their families through Gen. Razeq’s efforts and struggle.

He said such Taliban leaders now led ordinary life and even some of them were candidates in last Wolesi Jirga elections.

He said Gen. Abdul Razeq planned to buy land and homes for certain individuals as some land was allocated for them at Aino-e-Mena Township in Kandahar City, the provincial capital.

He also accused the government of not paying attention to those who joined the peace process in the province.

To a question, he said he would ask and motivate the sitting Police chief and brother of Gen. Abdul Razeq to start his brother’s process about peace.

Hamidullah, a resident of 4th police district of the provincial capital, said that Gen. Abdul Razeq had enough military experience and he benefitted from his personal contacts and relationship in the peace process.

He said Gen. Abdul Razeq had been able to bring a number of Taliban militants to the peace process and join their families.

He suggested that Kandahar tribal elders should follow into Gen. Abdul Razeq steps about peace with Taliban militants.

Nh/mds/pk/ma

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