A former Taliban commander who recently joined the peace process, along with 200 of his men, said on Sunday he will take up arms again if social injustices continue to increase.
The commander, from the Chamtal district of Balkh province, said he has laid down his weapons and will stay at home, unless living conditions get worse.
Kahn Mohammad, the commander, said he has fought against government forces under the Taliban flag for ten years and now believes that anyone who creates trouble for the people, is an enemy. He also called on Taliban members to join the peace process.
“I am tired of fighting and wish to have a peaceful life alongside my family,” he said.
Khan Mohammad is 51 years old and joined the Mujahideen in remote areas of Balkh province 30 years ago.
According to him, in 1984 he arrested six soldiers from the Red Army at Alborz hillside in Herat province and then exchanged the men for more than 90 Mujahideen who had been in a Soviet Union prison.
He said he first joined Hizb-e-Islami and then moved across to the National Movement Party. During this time he spent more than two years in a Taliban prison.
In response to a question from where he received arms and equipment he said: “I was a Mujahid and I received the weapon on that time and also people provided us arm during Jihad,”
Khan Mohammad’s men also said they had been deceived by Taliban propaganda and now they regret the things they did in the past.
“We welcome the joining of 200 Taliban to the peace process and it will have a positive impact on our region’s security," said Mohammad Amin, resident of Chamtal district.
“We cooperate with government and urge other Taliban groups to join the peace process,” said Mohammad Salim, another former Taliban insurgent.
School children of Chamtal district meanwhile said they were happy that the Taliban members had joined the peace process and welcomed the fact they would be able to return to school.
“We did not manage to study our lessons properly, because Taliban were controlling our area,” said Ali Ahmad, student.
“We are happy that a big Taliban group has joined the peace process. I want to go back to school to learn my lessons,” said Eskandar, a student.