Peace possible if occupation is over: Hekmatyar
KABUL (Pajhwok): Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) violent faction leader Gulbadin Hekmatyar has said he wants a "real and fair peace" if all foreign troops withdraw from Afghanistan and new elections are held in 2016.
“Peace can be established and the fighting can end once the occupation is over, foreign forces leave and the people of the Afghan nation are given the right to choose their own destiny and establish their own choice of government and governance,” Hekmatyar said in comments provided to The Associated Press this week after being videotaped in his hiding place.
Hekmatyar’s whereabouts are unknown after being ejected from Iran following the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan that removed the Afghan Taliban from power. But his associates insist the warlord is in Afghanistan.
Hekmatyar talks of an "inter-Afghan dialogue" that pointedly excludes neighbouring Pakistan, which has been a key mediator and host for Taliban-Kabul peace talks.
“If America and the Kabul government want peace, then this is the only way," Hekmatyar said while also ridiculing Ghani’s government and claiming the real “authority in Kabul is with the American ambassador and the NATO forces commander”.
“The defense ministry in Kabul is a mini-Pentagon and the presidential palace is a mini-White House," he added, with sarcasm.
But National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar recently told foreign diplomats that the Afghan government was committed to achieving peace with insurgents but the peace had multiple dimensions.
He had said as long as militant groups continued to use terrorism for their political goals, peace could not be achieved.
“I was, I am and I will be here in my country when foreign forces leave," Hekmatyar said. "Then, with the grace of God, you will see me in Kabul.”
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