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July 8, 2005
More Progress In Afghanistan You're Likely To Have Missed

The Army News Service reports that eighteen top Taliban commanders have turned themselves over to the Karzai government for its amnesty program. The commanders come from the splinter Taliban group Hezb-i Islami, which often found itself at odds with Mullah Omar:

Eighteen of Gulbiddin Hekmatyars Hezb-e Islami commanders turned themselves over to government officials in the Paktia Province June 12.

Under the terms of the Afghan governments reconciliation program, Pakhm-e Sohl, the former commanders returned home after years of living in Pakistan. ...

The loyalty statement to the Afghan government includes an agreement not to possess heavy weapons or take up arms against the Afghan government or Coalition forces. The commanders received new reconciliation identification cards and were embraced by Taniwal who welcomed them back to Afghan society.

Talking through an interpreter, Taniwal said today is another important step toward bringing complete peace to the province.

By working together and talking about our differences, we have found the means to bring some of our fellow Afghans home to Paktia to become important members of the community, he said. They will help build our quality of life and peace that we all seek.

ARNews published this on July 6th, a day before the attacks in London, but it has yet to receive much notice from the Exempt Media. While the newspapers understandably continue to follow the story of the missing American SEALs shot down in the country, it still fails to provide any context for the conflict in that region. The capitulation of Hezb-i Islami helps to uncomplicate the military situation in Afghanistan and undermine fundamentalist support for the Taliban's continued attacks on the elected Aghani government. It shows that the allure of al-Qaeda has faded even for its most fervent allies in the area where AQ made its home.

Why doesn't the media cover this progress?

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 8, 2005 6:23 AM

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» For all those who think we should get out of Afghanistan... from Angry in the Great White North
Scenes like this in Afghanistan have been bought at a high price, as the attacks in London remind us. But imagine the costs if we abandoned these people. [Read More]

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» Afghan Rebels Make Peace from Interested-Participant
Gulbiddin Hekmatyar founded the Hezbi Islami in the 1970s largely consisting of Pashtun tribesmen from eastern Afghanistan. Since that time, Hezbi Islami has been a major player in the many armed conflicts in Afghanistan, fighting the Russians, the Muj... [Read More]

Tracked on July 10, 2005 5:27 PM

» Afghan Rebels Make Peace from Interested-Participant
Gulbiddin Hekmatyar founded the Hezbi Islami in the 1970s largely consisting of Pashtun tribesmen from eastern Afghanistan. Since that time, Hezbi Islami has been a major player in the many armed conflicts in Afghanistan, fighting the Russians, the Muj... [Read More]

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