A ‘safe zone’ has been established in the country’s south for those Taliban who have and will lay down their arms and join the peace process, Kandahar Police Chief Gen. Abdul Raziq said.
Raziq said the safe zone will help the Taliban from Kandahar, Helmand, Uruzgan and Zabul provinces to live without worrying about their security after they quit violence and join peace.
He added that a number of Taliban members, especially their commanders who have laid down their arms, as well as 10 Taliban commanders who have returned from Pakistan and have embraced a normal life, are living at the safe zone.
The Kandahar police chief said they will continue their efforts to provide job opportunities for those Taliban members who have joined the peace process.
“We have provided the environment for those Taliban who do not want to live under the control of Punjabis [Pakistan’s Punjab] and for those who return to their country and start a peaceful life in their districts and provinces, regardless of their status. We have established a safe zone for them and they can live there with their people,” Raziq said.
He stated that the safe zone is established for the Taliban fighters in the country’s south and the precondition for living at the zone is to cut off their ties with those Taliban who are still fighting against government forces.
“Those Taliban who are in Kandahar, Helmand, Uruzgan and Zabul [provinces] and have ties with smugglers and armed groups, should remove their relations with them and embrace a peaceful life. So far 10 key Taliban members have come here [at the safe zone] and have started a normal life,” he added.
Meanwhile, member of Kandahar Provincial Council Attaullah Atta said the move by Kandahar police will benefit the people and will encourage the Taliban to choose a peaceful life.
“It is good for the people if Taliban [fighters] quit violence and join peace. It is a big hope for the people. Job opportunities will be provided to them [Taliban],” Atta said.
Kandahar military officials said they are hopeful that the safe zone will encourage Taliban commanders to join the peace process.
This comes after heavy clashes are ongoing between Afghan security forces and the Taliban in different parts of the country – including Kunduz and Baghlan provinces in the country’s north.