Hekmatyar-led HIA disowns Hilal’s decisions
KABUL (PAN): The Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) faction of Gulbadin Hekmatyar has strongly opposed Economy Minister Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal’s possible alliance with President Hamid Karzai’s principal rival, Abdullah Abdullah, and rejected Qutbuddin Hilal as a presidential runner.
Arghandiwal’s faction of the party and Dr. Abdullah, a former foreign minister who heads the National Coalition of Afghanistan, are reportedly in contact to form an electoral alliance ahead of the April 2014 presidential election.
Hilal, a senior HIA leader, said in an interview last night that he was set to be named a presidential candidate. He called Hekmatyar as his leader, “who enjoys support of the silent majority in the party”.
But Ghairat Baheer, who is responsible for the Hekmatyar’s faction political affairs, said both men’s decisions were their personal acts and had nothing to do with the party.
He added they viewed the contact between Arghandiwal and Abdullah as wrong. “It is against the party’s reputation to be part of such an alliance. The HIA will not support such faces as are in the service of enemies and who support and insist on the stay of foreign troops.”
On Hilal’s candidacy, Baheer said he had arrived in Kabul without party permission and his political contacts were his personal initiatives. He added Hilal did not represent the HIA. “We don’t support those American lackeys.”
The HIA is divided into three factions. The Hekmatyar-led faction is considered a terrorist organisation by coalition forces in Afghanistan. But the non-violent faction headed by Arghandiwal is a registered political entity, which backs the Karzai government. The third faction is led by presidential advisor Wahidullah Sabawoon.
But the Arghandiwal group has also disowned Hilal as its presidential candidate. The group spokesman, Abdullah Kamawal, told Pajhwok Afghan News Hilal was not their candidate. He said the party had entered consultations with other political groups on an electoral alliance, but a final decision was yet to come.
He criticised Hilal, who announced his candidacy on a local TV channel, for opening political offices in Kabul against the party’s will. Hilal said he had announced his candidacy on behalf of “the silent majority” which would support him.
He promised a strong campaign against administrative corruption, efforts for the establishment of an Islamic system and entering result-oriented talks with all insurgent groups, including the Taliban, if elected as president.
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