HIA decision to back IS shocks Balkh activists
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Civil society activists in northern Balkh province on Tuesday said they were deeply concerned about the Gulbadin Hekmatyar-led Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA)’s decision to join forces with the self-styled Islamic State or IS group.
Hekmatyar, a former prime minister, on Sunday asked his followers to support the Taliban if they fought against the communists and the Nazar council, but support the IS if the Taliban fought against them.
Civil society activists associated with various groups on Tuesday held a gathering in Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital, and asked the HIA to clearly declare its stance against the Afghans.
Activist Manochhar Ibrahimi told Pajhwok Afghan News he believed the HIA had announced its support to the Daesh group due to its weak representation in the unity government.
He said Hekmatyar and particularly the HIA had many supporters in Afghanistan and their support for the IS group could pose a serious threat.
Ibrahimi said the government should prevent other militant and political groups from joining Daesh.
Another participant of the gathering, Syed Mohammad Yazdan Parast, said the HIA had been pursuing an ambiguous policy in Afghanistan’s politics over the past 13 years.
He said some members of the group had emerged as opposition leaders, some worked in the government and others engaged in an armed struggle against the government.
He said it would be good if the HIA announced its fundamental stance against the Afghans. He said the IS fighters were not familiar with Afghanistan’s geography and their this problem would be resolved if the HIA joined them.
He said joining forces by the two groups could prove disastrous for Afghanistan.
Another activist, Mohammad Din, told Pajhwok Afghan News the Afghan government should strongly prevent the Hekmatyar group from joining forces with Daesh.
He said the government should warn Hekmatyar through other jihadi groups and civil society that his support for the IS would not be in favour of Afghanistan and the Afghans.
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