Hekmatyar calls on Taliban to join reconciliation process
KABUL (Pajhwok): Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) leader Gulbadin Hikmatyar on Thursday called on all armed groups, including the Taliban, to join the government-initiated peace process and work to achieve their objectives through peaceful means.
Hikmatyar expressed the view during a ceremony, where President Ashraf Ghani affixed his signature to a landmark peace agreement with his party.Representatives of the High Peace Council and HIA concluded the historic deal after two years of tenuous negotiations.
More than a thousand people, including high-ranking officials, former president Hamid Karzai, politicians, jihadi leaders and hundreds of HIA supporters participated in the ceremony.
Hikmatyar congratulated the entire nation on signing of the agreement, saying the milestone was crossed after two years of extensive talks. The accord, supported by the international community, was clinched without interference from foreigners, he remarked.
Hekmatyar hoped the pact would contribute to peace and stability in the country,saying both sides would soon start implementing all articles of in the deal. An independent Afghanistan, national unity, respect for all sides and adherence to religious values were common goals of different political groups, he said.
The HIA called on the high-profile figures of Afghanistan to support the groundbreaking deal. He urged all militant groups to the join peace process and realise their objective through peaceful means.
“I am sure after implementation of the agreement conflict in the country would come to end. I am also optimistic both sides would start implementing the agreement without delay, fully realizing their responsibilities,”he maintained.
The former prime minister said fighting in the country was not in the interest of the people. Internal and external enemies were beneficiaries of the ongoing war, he said, asking rebel outfits to negotiate with the authorities for at least for a few weeks and see the results.
He asked President Ghani to take effective steps for peace in the country and prove his willingness in this regard. Hekmatyar demanded the president accept some terms of the Taliban, including the release of key prisoners as gesture of goodwill for the sake of stability.
The ex-premier warned a neighboring country not to invest in promoting conflict and killing in the war-torn country. He told the neighbour not to seek its interest in waging a war in Afghanistan.He hinted at a change in the government, saying such development should be acceptable to all groups.
Hekmatyar also asked refugees to prepare for repatriation and reminded the government of its responsibility to reintegrate them with dignity.
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