Members of the radical militant group Taliban who agree to give up fighting are being paid 100 British pounds (over $150) a month and will be allowed to keep their guns under a new initiative to end the insurgency, The Sunday Telegraph reported.
The "reintegration" program, which was proposed by the British government and enjoys NATO's full support, is intended to keep Taliban militants from attacking the NATO-led coalition of international forces in Afghanistan.
Under the program, the Taliban fighters who have given up violence will be allowed to keep their guns and will be given an amnesty, which means they will never be put on trial. The amnesty extends to all Taliban fighters, including those who have taken part in atrocities.
Taliban fighters who want to leave the insurgency enter a three-month training program of "de-indoctrination" where they are taught the values of good citizenship and must vow to sever all links with al-Qaeda, take no further part in violence and uphold the laws of Afghanistan.
More than 2,700 Taliban insurgents have been reintegrated into mainstream Afghan society since October 2010, with 800 now described as "showing interest in leaving the Taliban," the paper said.
However, critics of the scheme have said that the number of Taliban leaving the insurgency has not been as high as expected and too few of those defecting are actual insurgents.
Hanif Atmar, a former interior minister, was quoted by the paper as saying last week: "Of around 30,000 insurgents, only eight per cent have reconciled so far," and 99 percent of them are not from the south where Taliban influence is strong.