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Arghandiwal wants rebels to contest elections

Arghandiwal wants rebels to contest elections

May 30, 2013 - 16:00

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The head of Hezb-i-Islamiinfo-icon Afghanistaninfo-icon (HIA)’s moderate faction, Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal, on Thursday called for insurgent groups to stop fighting and participate in elections.

Addressing a party gathering in Kabul, the economy minister condemned suicide and bomb attacks that killed and wounded innocent people. Such attacks amounted to the continuation of foreign aggression against Afghanistan, he said.

The HIA faction, led by Gulbadin Hekmatyar, claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in Kabul six days ago. Six foreign troops and nine civilians, including children, were killed and 42 others wounded in the assault.

The Hekmatyar group later said mostly foreign troops were killed and wounded in the attack that was followed by gunfire from security forces, killing three civilians.

Once allied with Hekmatyar, Arghandiwal said his faction would participate in presidential and provincial elections slated for April 5 next year. He added his party had launched consultations on choosing a consensus presidential candidate.

In this regard, Arghandiwal said his party had reached an agreement with 2nd Vice President Karim Khalili, the leader of Hezb-i-Wahdat and was in contact with Abdullah Abdullah, the leader of National Coalition.

Arghandiwal said if talks with political parties on fielding a consensus presidential candidate failed, his party would field its own nominee for the position.

The minister asked the authorities concerned to take necessary measures for holding free and transparent elections. He said foreign interference should not be allowed in the process.

Arghandiwal said his party was in favour of foreign troop pullout from Afghanistan and was also supportive of peace talks with the armed opposition groups.

Another party member, Syed Omar, said the HIA had played a key role in the jihadinfo-icon against the Soviets, but it had long been pushed to the wall.



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