The government-initiated peace process has gained momentum in northern Baghlan province, officials said on Friday, hoping the increasing number of militants shunning violence would help improve security for the April elections.
The provincial peace committee members say around 160 militants and their commanders had joined the reconciliation programme over the past two weeks.
The surrendering militants had been active in Dih Salah, Baghlan-i-Markazi, Burka, Nahrin and Jalgi districts, officials said, adding the reconciling men had vowed to work for peace.
Abdul Samad Stanikzai, the provincial peace committee head, told Pajhwok Afghan News people would be able to cast their vote in the upcoming elections without any fear because more and more militants were joining the peace process.
Deputy Governor Qadim Khan said they had been in direct contact with the reconciling insurgents and some of them had complaints against the government. “The joining of peace process by militants will have a positive impact on the polls.”
The latest development comes amid complaints by residents of Burka district that they would be unable to participate in the elections because of a deteriorating law and order situation in their area.
The locals were of the view if the government did not take tangible steps to reverse the increasing influence of militants, they would be able to create problems during the elections.
Akhtar Mohammad, a former militant commander, who had joined the peace process, said he fought for three years against the government, but now he wanted to serve the country and the nation.
He said the government should ensure his security and provide him with a permanent job. Officials have promised the reconciling insurgents they would be provided all possible assistance.