Peace agreement to be signed in 2 months: HIA
KABUL (Pajhwok): A senior peace negotiator of the Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan, led by Gulbadin Hekmatyar, on Saturday said they had reached an agreement with the Afghan government during peace talks and the deal would be signed over the next two months.
An HIA delegation sent by Hekmatyar has been negotiating with the government over the past two months in Kabul.
The head of the HIA delegation, Eng. Mohammad Amin Karim, told Pajhwok Afghan News during an exclusive interview that their peace talks with the Afghan government came to an end three days ago in the presence of a delegation of the High Peace Council and members of the National Security Council in Kabul.
The draft of the agreement was handed over to a government delegation for submission to President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Abdullah Abdullah and the draft might be shared with foreign allies of the government.
A copy of the draft would be handed over to the HIA delegation who might visit the president today or tomorrow for final talks, he said, adding they also received a copy of the draft, which they would share with the HIA leadership for a decision.
The draft would be finalized in few weeks or two months because the agreement was not confined to a single person, family or a specific group, he said.
Before signing of the agreement, the draft would be shared with key members and officials of HIA across the country, so it would take some time, he added.
“We have been consulting with hundreds of HIA officials, influential figures and representatives across the country. We will share the draft with HIA members, if they have no concern, the agreement will become ready for signature,” he said.
The return of Hekmatyar to Kabul was not a condition for signing the deal, but it would facilitate signing of the agreement immediately after it was signed by the president and the high peace council chairman.
He said their demands included ensuring national sovereignty, enforcing a legitimate Islamic system and how to return to national justice and others.
Karim said the removal of sanctions on HIA leaders and dropping their names from the US blacklists and facilitating the party to openly operate were part of the talks, but the the two sides had not discussed any power sharing and other related issues.
“The best gift and privilege we want from the peace process is the return of peace to the country,” he said.
“The agreement might be disclosed in the coming days. HIA did not demand privileges for itself and our demand was the release of HIA prisoners because it would serve national interests.”
He said it was impossible for the HIA leadership to come to Kabul for singing the agreement when the HIA youth were imprisoned.
Afghan refugees should be returned to their country with honour and necessary measures should be taken to facilitate their repatriation, he said, adding HIA would struggle for resolving issues of Afghan refugees who suffered a lot during the migration period.
“These are the demands of the people of Afghanistan,” he said, adding removing sanctions on HIA and removing names of the party leaders from blacklists were prerequisite to sign the peace deal.
On US and UNSC blacklists, he said “you can’t make peace with a party which is headed by individuals whom names are blacklists to be targeted or placed bounty on their heads. Such things are against the peace process.”
He said their delegation also came across several issues during the talks created by “specific networks”, without naming anyone.
We are concerned that these groups are still trying disrupt the peace talks and even they tried for the last minute to do so,” he said.
“Until we don’t get the agreement finalised and signed by the president, we feel concerned by interference of powerful groups who wish war in the country. We are looking forward to completely identifying these networks and introducing them to the nation to stand against them,” he said.
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