A group of 70 militants offer to lay down arms in exchange for jobs on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, Afghan news agency TOLONews reported on March 5. 

According to it, local officials said Sunday night that a group of 70 Taliban militants are ready to join the peace process in support of the TAPI gas pipeline project, local officials said late Sunday night.

Herat provincial council chairman Kamran Alizai reportedly said they held negotiations with the group of Taliban, which numbers 70.  According to him, the militants are prepared to join the peace process. 

Alizai said the group has some preconditions for joining the peace process, one of which is that they are given jobs, according to TOLONews

“The armed group who has taken up arms and fights against the government has suggested to the provincial council that they will join the peace process if they are employed on the TAPI project and also, they will take part in maintaining the project’s security,” said Alizai. 

Herat governor Mohammad Asif Rahimi reportedly welcomed the group’s move and said local government will provide them with employment opportunities after they join the peace process.

“The peace door is open, the peace offer has been offered to all the anti-government armed groups,” said Rahimi.  

TOLONews says the group’s intention comes just days after another group of 10 insurgents also joined the peace process in support of the TAPI project.