To land a gig like that, are they sure he has been miraculously cured of his “misunderstanding” of Islam? He does not sound terribly remorseful below in spite of hitting a few talking points. In fact, it sounds like he is bragging. More on this story. “Insurgent commander who planned bomb attacks that ‘blew soliders to bits’ is granted amnesty,” by Ben Farmer for the Telegraph, November 27 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):
Maulawi Noor ul Aziz estimates he ordered or took part in hundreds of attacks on Afghan and Nato forces during his decade as an insurgent commander.
As a senior rebel leader in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand during some of that time, many of his targets were likely to have been British troops.
Yet the commander has been welcomed and granted amnesty by the Afghan government under a British-funded scheme to undermine the Taliban by coaxing fighters away from the battlefield and reintegrating them into society.
Maulawi Noor ul Aziz became the scheme’s greatest success yet when he and 80 of his men defected to the government in April 2011, when he was then “shadow” governor of the northern province of Kunduz – in charge of the Taliban’s own clandestine administration.
Rather than face trial for his role in the insurgency, he has been given a government job as acting head of Kandahar’s department for Hajj and Islamic Affairs.
He told The Sunday Telegraph he had decided to leave the war against Hamid Karzai’s government and its foreign backers because his country had seen enough fighting.
He said: “Fighting does not lead to peace or prosperity anywhere in the world. We have to use this chance for peace.” The Afghan Taliban had also come too heavily under the influence of Pakistan he believed.
“There are people in the Taliban who do not want to kill their own people on the orders of strangers. They wish to join this government, to join their own people, to live together, but those Taliban are under the control of strangers. If they have the opportunity, I am sure they will switch sides like me.”
Maulawi Noor ul Aziz, who is originally from the Panjwayi district of Kandahar, said he had joined the Taliban movement as soon as it formed in 1994. “I have been in many battles in the past 10 years since our government was overthrown by the foreigners.”
As he rose through the ranks he directed ambushes and improvised bomb attacks against the Afghan and Nato forces in Kandahar, Zabul and Helmand provinces.
“I was a commander of fighting and I cannot tell you how many were killed, or injured. The fighting was often at a distance. Maybe in our struggle our mines and bullets killed some government forces and foreigners.
“Also, I was very busy with battle planning and making mines and ambushes. I did not myself participate a lot in the face-to-face fighting as much as I would have liked to.”
He said his most successful attack came when he and his men had sown a field in Nad-e Ali with improvised explosive devices (IEDs) rigged up to a command wire, to target regular foreign patrols which passed through.
As they waited, they were surprised to see a Nato Chinook helicopter land in the field instead. He and his band detonated their bombs from 400 yards away as foreign soldiers disembarked from the aircraft.
“All the bombs went off. Some of the foreigners were blown to bits and some were wounded. We were very happy with the result. I have done hundreds of these missions,” he said. […]
Critics of the scheme have warned that too few of those defecting are actual insurgents, and that it is failing to undermine the rebels in their southern heartlands.
“Of around 30,000 insurgents, only eight per cent have reconciled so far – and 99 per cent of them are not from the south,” said Hanif Atmar, former interior minister.
“Frankly speaking, it does not work. The eight per cent that are reconciled, most of them are not genuine insurgents, particularly not from the regions that matter.”