By Shadi Khan Saif
The Afghan government has decided to regulate and mainstream the controversial private militias amid allegations of abuses.
Following a high-level security meeting in the capital Kabul on Monday, the country’s National Security Council announced the policy and procedures to legalize the armed groups and individuals.
The meeting was chaired by the National Security Adviser, Hamdullah Mohib.
A number of private armed groups have emerged in different pockets of the war-torn country over the past years with many aligned with the government or with individuals in the government.
However, rights groups have long been voicing their concerns regarding such gangs.
Earlier this year, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani directed authorities to round up all such individuals and gangs.
However, the arrest of such commanders, namely Nezamuddin Qaisari and Ali Pur, sparked backlash when the ethnic Uzbek and Hazara communities respectively took to the streets against the arrests.
They hailed these commanders as their heroes against the rebels.
In a latest incident of the sort, the Afghan forces arrested Commander Naveed, one such private militia commander, in Takhar province last week.