Taliban being paid $150 a month to stop fighting

The reintegration programme, which has the full support of NATO, is intended to keep Taliban from attacking ISAF men.

Updated: Nov 28, 2011, 00:12 AM IST

London: Taliban cadres are being paid 100 pounds (over $150) a month for desisting from action and will be allowed to keep their weapons as part of a new initiative to end the insurgency in Afghanistan, a media report said Sunday.

The "reintegration" programme, which has the full support of NATO, is intended to keep them from attacking troops of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the Daily Telegraph reported Sunday.

Those who have attacked and killed British forces are also given an amnesty, meaning they will not be put on trial.

The amnesty extends to all Taliban fighters, including those involved in atrocities, such as killing children, beheadings or hanging women.

The agreement is part of a policy signed by the British government in which insurgents are being allowed to "walk off the battlefield" and enter a "reintegration" scheme.

Instead of interrogating members of the Taliban joining the programme, they are asked to fill up a questionnaire to seek from them their reasons for joining the insurgency.

The strategy has been formulated to encourage the Taliban to stop fighting and return to their communities with "dignity and honour".

Over 2,700 insurgents have been reintegrated into mainstream Afghan society since October 2010, with 800 now described as "showing interest in leaving the Taliban".

Major General David Hook, the director of the Joint Force Integration Cell in Kabul, admitted in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph that the programme would be difficult for many British families to accept but insisted that reintegration was vital if peace was to be achieved.

IANS