Farah [Afghanistan], May 12 (ANI): A retired Afghanistan police general has defected to the Taliban in western Farah province, according to Afghan and Taliban officials.
A spokesman for Afghanistan's Interior Ministry called the news "regretful" in a statement Sunday, accusing retired Gen. Abdul Jalil Bakhtawar of choosing "violence over a life of dignity," the Washington Post reported.
Bakhtawar's son who is the deputy governor of Farah province disputes his father's defection.
A Taliban spokesman released a video Monday welcoming Bakhtawar, saying: "he is an influential personality, and it is great that he is back at his home"
"The honourable general was in contact with our Mujahideen, and we are happy to have him in our ranks," said a senior Taliban official in the video who is not identified by name. "He is an influential personality, and it is great that he is back at his home."
In the video, Bakhtawar is said, "Let there be peace. I am happy to return to my home. I hope that there should be total peace, and all the elders should join hands. There shouldn't be any bloodshed on the land."
After the signing of a peace deal between the United States and the Taliban, the terrorist group has racked up violence in Afghanistan.
A foreign diplomat in Kabul said the number of defections within the Afghan security forces has increased following the signing of the peace deal more than two months ago. (ANI)