“Kunar Governor Wafa held a reconciliation ceremony for vetted target Gul Amir in Asad Abad.” — Source: 3/3 Command Chronology for the Period 01 January to 30 June 2005
Ex-Taliban Insurgents Pledge Allegiance to Afghan Government
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 28, 2005 – Two former insurgents began the process of formally renouncing violence and swearing reconciliation to the Government of Afghanistan earlier this week.
The insurgents, Gul Amir and Mullah Ismail, are working with Afghan and Coalition officials to formalize their efforts at joining with the Government of Afghanistan to promote a safe and more prosperous future for the country.
The Takhim-E Solh program, or Strengthening Peace program, is a method by which former insurgents and other anti-coalition fighters can renounce violence and join, after taking several key steps, with the people of Afghanistan.
Gul Amir and Mullah Ismail, who were low-level insurgents, are welcome into the program as long as they pledge loyalty to the government of Afghanistan and renounce violence against Afghan and coalition forces. The program is designed to target lower and mid-level anti-coalition fighters like these two, while high-ranking members of the Taliban and individuals accused of war crimes are deliberately not targeted for participation.
Gul Amir and Mullah Ismail both expressed a desire to return to their homes and work with Afghan and Coalition forces.
“From the beginning I have never had anything to do with those people (insurgents) and have had nothing against the government and coalition,” read a statement by Gul Amir that was signed during his initial interview for the program with Afghan and Coalition forces.
The process of reconciliation will take some time as their backgrounds are checked to ensure they are not accused of any serious crimes against the Afghan people or Coalition forces. The process must be completed to allow the former insurgents to live, work and exist peacefully in Afghanistan.
Takhim-E Solh “is a vital tool for the government of Afghanistan as it continues the difficult process of rebuilding this war-torn nation,” says U.S. Army Brig. Gen. James G. Champion, deputy commanding general for operations for Combined Joint Task Force 76.
Ex-Taliban and other former fighters need to “know they can come back home so long as they accept the democratically elected government here,” he noted. “A lot of individuals may fear they or their families will be imprisoned if they return, but that’s clearly not the case.”
Source: Department of Defense