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October 2, 2016

Hekmatyar to play pivotal role in future Afghan politics

Top Story

October 2, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Gulbaddin Hekmatyar, who signed a landmark accord of political understanding through video link along with Afghan president Dr Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday, is going to play pivotal role in future Afghan politics and help resume quadrilateral peace talks which were broken down after Afghan Taliban’s huge ambush in capital Kabul. 

Under the agreement, Hekmatyar will be granted amnesty for past offenses and certain Hezb-e Islami Afghanistan prisoners will be released by the government. The Afghan government also agreed to press for the lifting of international sanctions on Hekmatyar.

The deal also includes provisions for his security at government expense. It will be a dream that comes true for Hekmatyar and his comrades who remained away from the country’s main hub for long years.

His formally signing of accord has been welcomed by the US which has increased hopes to remove his name from the most wanted terrorists and also help remove his name from the UN list of international terrorist.

Political observers in Kabul are confident that Hekmatyar can influence the upcoming parliamentary polls to greater extent for his fragmented party breakaways have already considerable presence in current Parliament.

The new Parliament, the sources privy to the development, said might legislate on a framework for the complete withdrawal of the US and Nato troops from Afghanistan to fulfill the condition of Afghan Taliban for resumption of talks.

The source claimed that the US which had spent $800 billion on Afghan war till date might prefer to seek and maintain its presence through economic and strategic cooperation with Afghanistan.

“I pray that our country be independent and sovereign and our innocent and war-weary nation end the fighting and ongoing insecurity, and that unity prevails among all segments of nation,” said Hekmatyar in his video message read out at the signing ceremony held at presidential palace in Kabul.

Dr Ghani, on this occasion, hoped sanity would prevail and Afghan Taliban would also return to the negotiations after a large section of militants outfit entering into the agreement.

“Once Hekmatyar lands in Kabul, he is expected to start brainstorming with the likeminded remnants of his Hezb-e-Islami Afghanistan to reestablish contacts with some former jihadi leadership who were also his political allies in first post-Soviet troops mujahideen government in that country.

A diplomatic source in Islamabad said that Dr Ghani was committed and eager to pursue the US authorities as early as possible for an early action on Hekmatyar’s case of removing his name from the terrorists list of the United Nations.

Sources close to the ex-PM and a leading jihadi commander in liberation war against the former Soviet Union during 80’s Hekmatyar has a clout among the so called Haqqani Network and he is likely to establish some sort of contact with the outfit, a subsidiary of Afghan Taliban.

A Peshawar based journalist who reports and has a keen eye over Afghan developments Muhammad Qasim recalled that Haqqani Network’s founder Maulana Jalaluddin Haqqani was a close ally of Hekmatyar throughout Afghan jihad.

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