Draft pact signed, handed over to HIA delegation
KABUL (Pajhwok): The High Peace Council and the Gulbuddin Hekmatyar-led Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan on Wednesday signed a draft peace agreement and the draft was handed over to the HIA’s delegation to dispatch it to Hekmatyar.
A HPC source told Pajhwok Afghan News on the condition of anonymity today (Wednesday) the HPC members and the HIA delegates held their last meeting in Kabul, concluding their peace talks.
The finalised draft agreement was handed over to the HIA delegation during a ceremony and the HIA delegates would pass the draft to their leader, Hekmatyar, for his remarks.
The development comes as the four-nation group comprised of as officials from Pakistan, the United States, China and Afghanistan held their fifth round of meeting in Islamabad, aimed at laying the ground for peace talks with the Taliban.
On Tuesday, HPC deputy chairman Maulvi Attaur Rahman Salim told a press conference a total of 25 issues had been finalised in the draft during the nearly two-month stay of the HIA delegation in Kabul.
He said the draft agreement could be good news for the Afghans and a big achievement for the government.
“I am hopeful that other armed opposition groups would be encouraged to shun violence and join the peace process,” he said, adding the text of the agreement was ready for signatures.
Four days ago, the HIA delegation head, Eng. Mohammad Amin Karim, told Pajhwok Afghan News their talks with the government had been finalised and the peace agreement might be signed by both parties within two months. He had said they were concerned about some groups struggling to sabotage the peace talks.
Key components of the agreement are lifting sanctions on the HIA and removing names of HIA members from UN and US blacklists, the release of HIA prisoners and allowing the party to openly commence its political activities and resolving the issue of Afghan refugees.
Meanwhile, the US foreign secretary on Monday declared they supported the peace talks between the Afghan government and Gulbaddin Hekmatyar-led HIA party and would help in lifting sanctions on the party.
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