The peace process continues to attract people from across the country, gradually reducing insurgent ranks as the new Afghanistan marches forward with expanded opportunities and prosperity for all. Kunar province and its people recently welcomed a large contingent of militants home to the community and removed another cache of weapons from the community.
Hanifa, a former commander of Hizbi-e-Islami who was active in Chapa Valley and Marawara district, brought his group of nine Taliban home after several years and declared, “Now, we will work together with my Afghan brothers for my country and people.”
Commander Hanifa and his group progressively came to realize the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) were becoming more professional and better equipped. They also realized that the ANSF had the support of the Afghan people, so any acts to oppose them stood little chance of success. Hanifa and his group extended a hand for peace and the Islamic Government welcomed them home.
The fighters felt sorry for committing bad activities against the Afghan government and local people in Chapa Valley and Marawara district, so they submitted their light and heavy weapons to the DIAG program in Kunar province and joined the reconciliation process.
Hanifa mentioned, “We realized our fighting was never going to reach our goals. After speaking with the peace council, we understood the government was an Islamic government, so we found no reason to continue fighting. This was our motivation for joining the peace process.”
Kunar Governor Shujaul Mulk Jalala and other provincial officials warmly welcomed the group and pledged to provide work opportunities, vocational training, and security to them so they may live a normal life like their Afghan brothers do now. “Afghanistan is developing and needs all its sons to join together in building our future.”
Ahamad, a former Hizbi-e-Islami fighter, said “I believed I was doing Jihad but we realized something was wrong because the people rejected us rather than welcomed us. When we looked more closely at the efforts of the government to improve our nation, I decided to leave the fighting and rejoin my society and my family.”
Kunar officials say with the reintegration of this group, provincial security will improve. Officials promised to continue sending messages of peace to the rest of the Afghan Taliban so they too can quit fighting and come work for their family and society.