'There is no jihad,' say surrendered Taliban fighters in Badghis

By Omar


A group of 20 Taliban militants surrender their weapons as they renounce violence October 13 in Qala-e-Naw, Badghis Province. [Mirwais]

HERAT -- A group of 20 Taliban militants who surrendered earlier this week in Badghis Province said the group has nothing to do with jihad.

"We were told that this is a holy war and that we need to wage jihad, but after a few months, I realised that there is no jihad. All we do is harass civilians and destroy the country," said Bismillah, one of the former Taliban fighters who surrendered on Tuesday (October 13) in Qala-e-Naw. "Taliban religious authorities would tell us to kill anyone who had even worked one day with the government, [that] their death was permissible."

The fighters joined the peace process as a result of efforts by the National Directorate of Security (NDS) and tribal elders, according to local officials.

"We later realised that the Taliban Emirate is not for us and that we must stop harassing civilians," Bismillah said, adding most of the Taliban are tired of war and want peace.

"We have harassed many people, but I do not want to continue it. I want to have a peaceful life in which I neither disturb anyone, nor anyone disturbs me," said Ashoor, another surrendered fighter.

"The government is better than the Taliban. I was encouraged by friends to join the government," he said. "My call to other Taliban [fighters] is to come to peace. I will encourage the Taliban to join the peace process as much as I can."

As peace talks have started, war is no longer necessary and everyone is hoping that the talks succeed as soon as possible, Ashoor added.

Gul Ahmad, another one of the former Taliban fighters, said that he is happy to have joined the peace process.

"It is useless to be a member of the Taliban. We were in the mountains day and night. We had no life," he said.

"We were in fear of attacks by security forces day and night. My request to the rest of the Taliban is to renounce war and make peace."

'The doors of peace are open'

Security on the outskirts of Qala-e-Naw city will improve following the surrender of the fighters, Badghis Governor Hesamuddin Shams told reporters at the ceremony.

"We are hopeful for the talks in Qatar," he said, referring to negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government in Doha, Qatar.

"It is better to stop fighting ... while the peace talks in Doha have started," Shams said. "The doors of peace are open, offering the best opportunity for the Taliban to give up violence and killing."

The war has claimed thousands of lives in Afghanistan, damaging its infrastructure and economy without any benefit to the Taliban, said Abdullah Afzali, deputy chairman of the Badghis Provincial Council.

"Throughout history, every war has ended through peace. The right opportunity has arrived to end the 40-year conflict in Afghanistan peacefully as well," he added.

"The Taliban and the government must heed to the demands of the public, and they must reach an agreement."

Tired of war

Residents of Badghis Province urged the Taliban to make peace.

Afghans hear about war and killings every day from every corner of the country, which nobody can tolerate, said Abdul Wahid Karimi, a resident of Qala-e-Naw.

"No other country has experienced war and killing as much as Afghanistan has," he added. "Our demand for the Taliban is to no longer continue this war."

All Afghans are tired of the conflict, he said, adding that even the Taliban are exhausted and are trying to extricate themselves.

The Taliban's willingness to negotiate with the government shows that they are tired of war, said Fayeq Ahmadi, a civil society activist in Qala-e-Naw city.

"The start of peace talks between the Taliban and the government in Qatar had raised hopes for peace, but the escalation of violence and attacks by the Taliban in many provinces has left civilians frustrated about the group's intentions for the peace process," he said.

While the peace talks are under way in Qatar, the escalation of violence and of fighting in Afghanistan is a mistake and contravenes human dignity and Islamic values, he added.

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Jihad was as obligatory as prayer and fasting against the American occupying forces. All those who did not carry out jihad against the American occupation in Afghanistan are sinners and must repent so that God forgives them. But now that the occupation has ended and American troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, and peace agreement has been concluded with them, there is no jihad. War must stop. If both sides do not stop fighting, and they kill innocent people for the sake of power, they are sinners before Almighty Allah. And on the Doomsday, they will be put into the fire of Hell. Democratic system and Islamic system are the pretexts that both sides make to gain power. Otherwise, neither this side nor the other side believes in that.


Dear Brother, First you interpreted the meaning of Jihad completely contrary to Sharia and according to your own liking. Jihad has many types. The last stage of jihad is with the sword or today’s weapon, but you broke the heart of this many centuries old suffering nation. And have you seen that all are sinners and you became aware of people’s hearts, as well as became perfectionist and adorned with Sharia of Islam? But what do you know from Trump’s heart and the United States' foreign policy that the occupation has ended? If jihad against infidels was and is obligatory, then how do you know that this peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban is not a political ploy or trick? Think well, American troops withdrew from Afghanistan. What will you do with its embassy? What does the existence of an embassy of an occupying country, as you said, mean in an occupied country? All the political parties deceived the poor and ignorant people from Islam for centuries and made them kill under the name of “Allah Akbar” (God is Great) or “Islam is in danger”. They did all this for the political goals of Russia or America. We have the same God, we have the same Qur'an, and we have the same prophet. Then why should shedding of the blood of a Muslim be lawful? How long should the blood of a brother of Kandahar, Helmand, Badakhshan, Mazar or Herat be considered lawful? I swear in God that every person who by misunderstanding and wrong conception encourages others to kill people and