Taliban Leaders 'Joined Government'

Politics Materials 3 November 2008 11:56 (UTC +04:00)

Afghanistan, Kabul, 3 November / corr Trend A. Hakimi / Thirty Taliban militants have joined the government's peace process in the western provinces of Herat and Farah.

The rebels handed over weapons to the government as the United Nations predicted that support for the peace process would increase in the coming months. Among the rebels who "came in from the cold" were two Talib commanders suspected of launching attacks on government and foreign troops in the two provinces .Head of the peace commission in western Afghanistan, Hazrat Sharif Mujadidi, said the commanders had more than 1,000 militants under their command.

The leaders promised to disarm all their men if the government looked after them. Officials say the peace process in Afghanistan needs greater support from the international community and from the government if it is to absorb more anti-government forces. The head of the UN office in the west, Abdul Samad Haidarof, welcomed the militants' decision to lay down their weapons and pledged to increase UN support for the peace process. Last week's peace jirga ended with Pakistani and Afghan officials vowing to pursue peace-talks with rebel factions on both sides of the border