Members of Hizb-e-Islami, who were released from prisons, have joined the Taliban in Kandahar province and are causing security problems in the province, Kandahar Golice Chief Gen. Abdul Raziq said on Monday.
In an interview with Sarkhat newspaper, Kandahar’s powerful police commander said the recent suicide attack, which left at least eleven children dead in Daman district in the province, was a plot by Wali Mohammad, a member of the Gulbuddin Hekmatyar-led Hizb-e-Islami party, who was released from jail by government.
However, Hizb-e-Islami has rejected the allegations, saying that no released member of the group has returned to the battlefield.
“I can challenge all, that if anyone from those released and their names were announced officially in media, joined opponent ranks. These things are brought to disrupt the peace process between the government and Hizb-e-Islami,” said a member of the Hizb-e-Islami party, Mohammad Amin Karim.
According to Abdul Raziq, a top commander of Taliban who had been arrested by the security forces in Arghistan district of the province, was released under the name of an Hizb-e-Islami inmate, but gave no details about the identity of the suspect.
Meanwhile, lawmakers in Afghanistan’s Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) have stressed the need for close monitoring of activities by the Afghan government of the freed members of Hizb-e-Islami.
“Afghan government should be monitoring those released to see what these individuals are doing. The monitoring process should be authentic and up close,” said MP Makhdoom Abdullah Mohammadi.
Also, officials from the High Peace Council (HPC) have rejected the possible involvement of Hizb-e-Islami members in waging war against the government.
“We do not have any samples of those who were released and returned to war,” said HPC spokesman Sayed Ehsan Tahiri.
But Hizb-e-Islami officials urge the government to take steps and provide job opportunities to the reconciled members of the group.
“At least a working workshop should be held for them, and initially the government pledged to do so, but it has not delivered on its commitment,” added Karim Amin.
This comes at a time when, to date, over 153 members of Hizb-e-Islami have been released from prisons.
Sources have said that from the total figure, 70 constitute top commanders and key members of the Hizb-e-Islami group.