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Posted on: 16-05-2016
KABUL: (AIP): When the United States-led coalition forces attacked Afghanistan, they would take the al-Qaeda and Taliban prisoners to their detention centers outside Afghanistan but later established the Bagram prison.
Most of the prisoners arrested during night time raids and other operations were being kept by the foreign forces at the Bagram prison till 2014. 
Among these inmates was a person who had spent only 10 days in Taliban ranks before he was arrested by the US forces and taken to Bagram prison. When he was released in 2014, the Taliban appointed him as a commander. Currently, he is a Taliban military official for a district.
The Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) correspondent held a detailed interview with this former prisoner in Syedabad district of Wardak. To avoid showing his identity, the former inmate has been named as “Badri” in the interview. Below is the excerpts of the interview.
Question: How did you join the Taliban ranks?
Answer: Due to joblessness, I along with my brother went to Iran during the last days of Taliban regime. After spending five years in Iran, we came back to our village. Hamid Karzai was ruling over the country. The Taliban were active only in a few areas in Wardad. However, they did not have control over any area of the province. I was attending a marriage ceremony in the village. We were enjoying music when Taliban opened fire on the ceremony. All the people fled the scene. It was the first time when I saw the activities of Taliban. On the next day, a prayer leader preached against music. It inspired me. The situation had changed in our area. People had acquired education. Their economic situation had improved. But I was illiterate. After facing economic challenges, I went back to Iran after spending a year in the village. I spent two years in Iran. I returned to Afghanistan in 2008. Now the entire village was in the hands of Taliban. Most of the houses had been destroyed or damaged in wars. I wanted to join the Taliban ranks. Unfortunately I fell ill. The doctors told me that I have cardiac problem. My father could not arrange money for my treatment. My father contacted the Red Crescent for help. However, they did not extend any help for my treatment. After collecting money from relatives, we went to Indian for treatment. After two years of treatment, I was feeling better. Now I was determined to join Taliban ranks. Finally, I joined the Taliban ranks. 
Question: Why you joined Taliban ranks?
Answer: I joined the Taliban ranks for the sake of God. Most of the youths of our village had joined Taliban. It is the path of the God. Those who follow the path of the God are lucky people.
Question: What was your first job in Taliban ranks?
Answer: After spending three days in Taliban ranks, they gave me a Kalashnikov. On the fifth day, they gave me a motorbike. I wanted to attack the logistic convoys of US forces. We attacked a logistic convoy in the morning. Twenty two fuel tankers caught fire. A fuel tanker was still safe. I torched it. We all went back to the village after the attack.
Question: How was the treatment of the villagers with you?
Answer: After the attack, everyone in the village felicitated us. When we reached the village, old women offered us milk and butter.
Question: How the foreign forces arrested you?
Answer: It was my 10th day in Taliban ranks. I and my friend were sleeping in the mosque. The foreign forces made announcement on loudspeaker, asking us to surrender. The foreign forces broke the door and entered the mosque. My friend opened fire on the foreign forces. The foreign forces moved back. I took up my Kalashnikov and went back to the mosque. After a few moments, the foreign forces entered the mosque and opened fire at me. I raised hands and they arrested me.
Question: How was their treatment when you were arrested?
Answer: They tied my hands and put a mask to my face. We got on board a helicopter. After some time, the helicopter landed. We got off the board. They took me to a room. After three days, I realized that it was Logar. They started interrogating me.
Question: When were you shifted to Bagram? Was your family aware of your arrest?
Answer: After keeping me for three days in Logar, they took me to another place in a helicopter. It was Bagram. Many rooms were made of steel. They put me in a separate room. But no one beat me. I was thrashed so much in Logar.
Question: How did they interrogate you?
Answer: Two foreigners and an Afghan interpreter put many questions to me. They were asking about a Taliban commander, Mullah Abdullah. He was the one who was with me in the mosque during the raid. He was killed in the raid. They showed me the pictures of his body. They asked me as how I joined him. I told them that I was a passenger and stayed at the mosque for the night. They told me that I had planted IED in Hassan Khel the other night. But I denied.
Question: Former president Hamid Karzai once said during his regime that Bagram prison is the factory of Taliban. Are you agreed with his statement?
Answer: No. They did not turn people into Taliban. Many people arrested and being kept in the Bagram prison were not Taliban. They had been arrested on suspicion. I spent three years at Bagram prison. But they could not prove any charges against me. My family found me after two months. They contacted me through the Red Cross.
Question: Did the treatment at Bagram prison force you to rejoin Taliban ranks?
Answer: Yes. It was one of the reasons. I saw many innocent people there. They had been tortured by the foreign forces. A farmer of Marjah district became crazy when he was shifted to Bagram.
Question: What were your sweet and bitter memories in Bagram prison?
Answer: Let me first tell you about the sweet memories. An Afghan interpreter brought the holy Quran, cloth for prayers and other books. I was uneducated and could not reach books. I only used to recite the holy Quran. I faced many bitter things. A woman, a black American and an Afghan interpreter came to me. The foreigners used to talk politely and put simple questions. But the Afghan interpreter told me that I am the deputy commander of Mullah Abdullah. He used to abuse me.
Question: Tell us something about your clothing and food.
Answer: Everything was fine. We were given foods and fruits. But we did not enjoy anything. I spent four years at Bagram prison. I was sad because I had lost a close friend. Unfortunately, I was arrested alive.
Question: Do you know anything about the black prison in Bagram?
Answer: Some prisoners would disappear suddenly. Some prisoners would be taken away after spending only a few days with us. I don’t know where these prisoners were shifted. I knew that it is not easy to be released from the Bagram prison.
Question: How were you released from Bagram prison?
Answer: Former president, Hamid Karzai formed a committee for Bagram prison. The committee obtained report about my presence from the Red Cross. The committee demanded the foreign forces to release me. After few months, I was released.
Question: Did Hamid Karzai or other Afghan officials help you in your release from the prison despite the fact that you had links with Taliban?
Answer: I cannot call it help. These people had brought the foreign forces to Afghanistan. They had signed the agreement for the killing and arrest of Afghan people with the foreign forces.
Question: Why did you rejoin Taliban?
Answer: The stance of the government about the withdrawal of foreign forces is very weak. The Americans and other foreign forces carry out operations in the villages of Afghanistan every day. About 50 people were martyred in our village. Most of them were killed in bombardment or night time raids. The presence of foreign forces could not be justified in the light of Islam.
Question: How did you rejoin the Taliban ranks?
Answer: When I was released, the Taliban came to welcome me. They treated me as a guest for few days. They told me about our friends who had got martyrdom. I could not part ways with them.
Question: How as you appointed as commander in Taliban ranks?
Answer: I spent 20 days at home. A Taliban commander came to our home to felicitate me. He pledged me to give me 10 fighters and some weapons. He gave me 10 fighters along with weapons. I was appointed as their commander.
Question: What are your activities now?
Answer: We obeyed the orders of our leaders. We implemented the plans prepared by our leaders. We are active on the Kabul-Kandahar highway. 
Question: It is believed that Taliban leadership is guided by Pakistan. Did you get any direct instructions from Pakistan?
Answer: This question is not in accordance with the principles of the Islamic Emirate. The United States and 50 other infidel countries are standing by Karzai and Ashraf Ghani. Why you don’t criticize their support? When the Taliban leaders are called puppets when they select a place for their protection? I make contacts with my leaders on telephone in Pakistan. Many Taliban leaders give us guidance from Pakistan. However, these are false claims that we are the slaves of Pakistan and serves of their intelligence agencies. Our motive is to raise the flag of the Islamic Emirate. Ends
Time: 05:00 GMT
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