Afghan Program Aims to Repatriate Noncriminal Combatants
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May. 10, 2005 The Afghan government has announced an initiative designed to repatriate noncriminal combatants and insurgents back into Afghan society.
Professor Sibghatullah al-Mojaddedi announced the Tahkim-e Solh, or Strengthening Peace, program at a May 9 news conference in the Afghan capital of Kabul. Mojaddedi will serve as a commissioner for the program.
The program is designed to urge members of the Taliban, Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin and other anti-coalition militia who have not been involved in criminal activity to return to Afghanistan from foreign lands. The goal, Mojaddedi explained, is to "help unite Afghanistan and guarantee our country's sovereignty, peace, stability, and a secure environment for all Afghans."
While not discussing details of the program, Mojaddedi called it an important step in Afghanistan's emergence from "atrocity-filled times of terrorism" as it builds a new government.
"The focus of the world is upon us," he said, urging his countrymen to put their differences aside and to strive together toward a new future.
"Afghanistan is home to all Afghans, regardless of ethnicity," Mojaddedi said. "Let us live together as brothers in unity as our grandparents lived in the past. Let us not allow our enemies to break us apart with divisive actions."
Mojaddedi concluded by "asking all Afghans to return home from foreign lands," telling them, "You are welcome."