Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Chief of Delegation Mohammad Amin Karim, talks to The Oslo Times about Hekmayar's return to Kabul



    1440831202391.jpg By Prabalta Rijal
     Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Chief of Delegation Mohammad Amin Karim, talks to The Oslo Times about Hekmayar's return to Kabul Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar signing the historic September peace deal

    Feb 5, Kabul: After 14 years of struggle, former Prime Minister and leader of the Hezb-e-Islami or the Islamic Party of Afghanistan, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar will be returning to Kabul.

    This move by opposition leader comes after the Afghan government succeeded in getting him off the United Nations Security Councils blacklist and onto the negotiation table, as the Peace accord has given Hekmatyar amnesty for past offenses and granted him full political rights. Similarly, The UN Security Council has dropped a freeze that had been put on Hekmatyar's assets, as well as a travel ban and an arms embargo against him.

    Hekmatyar was one of the most influential leaders in the fight against Soviet forces in the 1980s, and it was under his leadership the Afghanistan was able to overthrow the Soviet-backed Communist regime. Over the years, this Islamic leader has also evolved into a prolific writer and has published several political books titled—'Dreams and Interpretations', 'Bush, the King of Liars' and 'Afghanistan – Another Vietnam for America. '

    In 1992, Hekmatyar briefly accepted the position of prime minister. However, his administration was blamed for shooting at innocent civilian  during the civil war between 1992 to 1996. This eventually led to his downfall as media giants blew the situation inside Afghanistan out of proportions, causing an international  backlash against him as he was accused of killing thousands of people when his fighters fired on civilian areas of the capital, Kabul, during the country's 1992-1996 civil war.

    As many people have still not forgotten the civil war, the announcement of his return has sparked concerns as many Afghans are pretty worried about their government’s perilous deal with a man who in the past despite his good deeds for the nation, had caused so much bloodshed. 
    Though there are concerns arising at a local level international players like Norway have supported this move by the Afghan government.

    "Lasting stability in Afghanistan will require a political solution that brings the armed groups into a democratic system. It is important that the parties come together and work for peace. Norway supports this work," Norway's foreign Minister Børge Brende said, during his visit to Kabul on Saturday.

    As Afghanistan takes its first steps towards restoring peace in the country The Oslo Times International Network's Chief Correspondent Prabalta Rijal, spoke to Hekmatyar's Chief of Delegation Mohammad Amin Karim, about the peace deal and on HIA's plan on executing the peace agreement.

    Excerpts:


    What can we expect, will the peace talks come to a definite resolution now that Mr. Hekmatyar name has been lifted from the UNSC black list?

    Yes, well, first of all, I thank the Government of Norway for the peace process and today's declaration of support for Afghanistan's support of peace process, we are very thankful to this decision and regarding your question, we will continue to implement the agreement paper in order to bring peace in our country.  The signing of the agreement was the first step towards the peace process and it opened a huge door for negotiations and we believe this is the only way that can lead to fruitful solutions as this will also open doors for us to call on other groups to join the peace process. We will also continue to carry out our own agreements with the government.


    What are the points that Mr. Hekmatyar and Your party will be taking to the round table?

    Well, you know we have a 24 point agreement and we will work on that we have formed nine subcommittees and we are working on that in order to allow Mr.Hekmatyar to take those points to the negotiations.

    What are the security measures that are being taken for the safety of Mr.Hekmatyar in Afghanistan?

    Well, as you know we have our own militia and the other security and logistics are being taken care of by our party.

    Will HIA finally become a part of the electoral process now?

    Yes of course, because we believe that the only way we can be in power in through a transparent election and we will continue to fight for this as transparently as possible, we will support this government on other issues apart from the elections.

    There have been news reports claiming that the government has promised the release of HIA prisoners and lift all restrictions on your party, when will this come into effect if it already hasn’t?

    Well, this was part of our commitment and the government has promised to release all the prisoners, it is normal you know if two parties want to do business together they need to come to a compromise and I hope in the coming days we will see the commitment being fulfilled.

    Do you think that this decision by the UN could pave the way for other armed groups, such as the Taliban, to enter peace negotiations?

    As you may already know the Taliban are already closely watching the process and are in touch with us and are asking us once in a while if we are confident about the process and our answer is yes, because this is this is the only way our nation can move forward.

    Okay, Now that Mr.Hekmatyar is coming back and will be entering the electoral process, how are things going to be with Pakistan?

    Well, Pakistan is our neighbor and we want to maintain good relations with our own neighbors, but not at the price of our sovereignty and we are eager to defend our national interests and if Pakistan starts playing with us we will join hands as a nation to fight any kind of intrusion.

    Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's journey in Brief: 

    Born: 26 June 1947
    1968: Expelled from Mahtab Qala military academy due to political standing
    1970 to 1972: Joins Engineering at Kabul University
    1973: Hekmatyar joins the Sazman-i Jawanan-i Musulman ("Organization of Muslim Youth")
    1975: October, undertook uprising against the government. Without popular support, the rebellion ended in complete failure, and hundreds of militants were arrested.
    1979: Found Hezbi Islami the  Islamist organization that fought the Communist Government of Afghanistan and their close ally the Soviet Union.
    1992: The Communist government of Dr. Najibullah in Kabul toppled, Hekmatyar refuses to join government.
    1992: A peace agreement was signed with Massoud on 25 May 1992, which made Hekmatyar Prime Minister
    1992 to 1996: The Afghan civil war, warring factions destroy most of Kabul and killed thousands of people, most of them civilians
    1994:  Pakistan changes sides and turns towards the Taliban. The Taliban make rapid progress towards Kabul, into Hezb-i Islami positions. They captured Wardak on 2 February 1995, and moved on to Maidan Shahr on 1o February and Mohammed Agha the next day.
    1995: Hekmatyar caught between the advancing Taliban and the government forces, he abandons his headquarters and flees to Surobi.
    1996: In May, Rabbani and Hekmatyar finally form a power-sharing government in which Hekmatyar is made prime minister.
    1997: Hekmatyar flees to Iran, after the Taliban take over Kabul few months after the collision government was formed in , 1996.
    2001: Hekmatyar rejects the U.N.-brokered accord of 5 December  negotiated in Germany as a post-Taliban interim government for Afghanistan.
    2002: All the offices of Hezb-e-Islami were closed in Iran and Hekmatyar was expelled by his Iranian hosts, after he speaks out against the US and Iran backed Karzai government.
    2003: The United States State Department and the United States Treasury Department jointly designated Hekmatyar a global terrorist.
    2004: Gulbuddin commanders form and register a new political party under the name Hizb-i-Islami (Afghanistan) HIA..
    2008: Gulbuddin's HIG group has reemerged as an aggressive militant group, claiming responsibility for attacks against Coalition forces [at the time, primarily the International Security Assistance Force and the administration of President Hamid Karzai.
    2016: Hekmatyar was pardoned by the Afghan government as part of a peace deal between Hezb-i-Islami and the government
    2017: UN sanctions on him were formally lifted on 3 February

    The Oslo Times International News Network