Afghan government decides to regulate private militias

                By Shadi Khan Saif</p>    <p>KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) - The Afghan government has decided to regulate and mainstream the controversial private militias amid allegations of abuses.</p>    <p>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.</p>    <p>The meeting was chaired by the National Security Adviser, Hamdullah Mohib.</p>    <p>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.</p>    <p>However, rights groups have long been voicing their concerns regarding such gangs.</p>    <p>Earlier this year, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani directed authorities to round up all such individuals and gangs.</p>    <p>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.</p>    <p>They hailed these commanders as their heroes against the rebels.</p>    <p>In a latest incident of the sort, the Afghan forces arrested Commander Naveed, one such private militia commander, in Takhar province last week.