A joint coordination of community leaders and religious clerics together with the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) in Nangarhar was praised for their efforts at bringing former militants into the garden of peace.
In a remarkable and noteworthy achievement, the Nangarhar Provincial Peace Council has succeeded in illuminating the path to peace for 53 armed men who handed over their weapons to security forces, voiced their regret for former transgressions and pledged to dedicate their lives to the people and development of our country, Afghanistan.
The reconciled band of deceived former militants conducted destructive activities in Achin, Spinghar, Ghani Khel, Nazyan and Mohmandara districts for the past few years.
Provincial Governor Salim Khan Kunduzi said, "Our government and people become more optimistic for the peaceful future of Afghanistan when our brothers separate from the destroyers of our country and return to their families. My message to those seeing the pointlessness of their violent activities is to follow these brave men and share the unity of our dream that is a prosperous Afghanistan."
Head of the Peace Council, Haji Malek Nazir, said that 737 militants in the past three years have realized the futility of fighting the ANDSF, and joined the peace process in Nangarhar. "We will use all our resources to provide those choosing peace with the jobs they like and assist them to resettle," he said.
Qari Bilal, a member of the reconciled group, said that they were encouraged to stop fighting by tribal elders, so they contacted the National Directorate of Security (NDS). He said, "We made contacts with the NDS and they reassured us that we will be welcomed to join the peace process. I am very thankful to the NDS for their kindness toward us."
He continued, "I also thank the Nangarhar governor and the tribal elders for warmly welcoming us home. When they hugged me, I felt very pleased, and I tasted the flavour of brotherhood and peace. I want to tell all people that deeply in my heart, I regret my past deeds. I hope to compensate for my past deeds and commit myself to the reconstruction of our war-ravaged country."
Mohammad Yassin, the commander of the reconciled group, expressed his happiness for the opportunity to return to his normal life saying armed opposition to the government is a hopeless endeavour. "It was a very tough time. We were scared all the time. We were away from relatives, family and friends. We were hungry. We were hopeless. Eventually, we realized our struggle was over." He said. "Now, praise to peace council and our elders, we can return home. And it is time for us to do good things for our country and our people."