Urdu Daily: Hizb-e-Islami Chief Hekmatyar, In Effort To 'Unite Former Jihadis And The Taliban,' Says: 'American Agenda' Will Not Be Thrust Upon Afghanistan

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April 19, 2021

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Former mujahideen leader and former Afghan prime minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who joined the peace process in Afghanistan but continues to take a pro-Taliban position, has started trying "to unite former jihadis and the Taliban," according to an Urdu daily.[1] Hekmatyar lead Hizb-e-Islami, an underground jihadi organization, until 2016.


A screenshot of the report in Roznama Ummat of April 6, 2021

"The agreement that has been signed between the Taliban and Hizb-e-Islami during two rounds of talks in Russia has been approved by the shura [executive council] of Hizb-e-Islami according to which, with regards to the establishment of an Islamic welfare state in Afghanistan and with regards to changing the constitution in Afghanistan [to a religious constitution as demanded by the Afghan Taliban], Hizb-e-Islami and the Taliban will adopt a joint strategy," a report in the Urdu-language daily Roznama Ummat noted.[2]

The Islamic Emirate and the Hizb-e-Islami seem to have reached this agreement in Moscow when the Afghan groups met there in March 2021 to discuss the Afghan situation. These developments come as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban organization) and the United States are set to join a U.S.-sponsored multilateral conference in Istanbul sometime in April 2021 on the future of Afghanistan.

Recently, on a single day in the Afghan capital, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar held separate talks with Pakistani Ambassador in Kabul Mansour Ahmad Khan and with former Afghan president Hamid Karzai. During the talks, Hekmatyar informed Karzai about the existence of the pact between Hizb-e-Islami and the Taliban, the former Afghan president "announced support for Hizb-e-Islami," the report in Roznama Ummat stated.[3]

The report indicates that Hamid Karzai might be trying to become the head of an interim government, should the Istanbul talks yield such a transitional administration in Kabul, which the Taliban desire. "Hamid Karzai, in the event of becoming the head of an interim government, appealed for Hizb-e-Islami's support. On this, Hekmatyar responded that whoever supports Hizb-e-Islami and the Taliban's joint agenda, he has no objection to him becoming the interim president [of Afghanistan]," the report added.[4]

The current democratically elected government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is trying to pre-empt any U.S.-backed moves in Istanbul that will allow the Taliban to gain a foothold in a transitional government without elections being held. The Taliban and Hekmatyar oppose any move by the current Afghan government that will retain the republican democratic constitution in Afghanistan. "Under the pretext of an interim government, the Western democracy and American agenda will not be allowed to be thrust [upon Afghanistan]," Gulbuddin Hekmatyar reportedly told Hamid Karzai.[5]

The report in Roznama Ummat, a pro-Taliban Urdu daily, is titled "Hizb-e-Islami Active To Unite Former Jihadis And The Taliban."[6] On April 5, a day before the report was published, the daily published another report titled "The Taliban And Hekmatyar Active For [President] Ghani's Rukhasti."[7] The word rukhasti means departure, especially of a bride leaving her mother's home. "The Taliban have already decided about establishing an Islamic government in the country," the report noted.[8]

 

[1] Roznama Ummat (Pakistan), April 6, 2021.

[2] Roznama Ummat (Pakistan), April 6, 2021.

[3] Roznama Ummat (Pakistan), April 6, 2021.

[4] Roznama Ummat (Pakistan), April 6, 2021.

[5] Roznama Ummat (Pakistan), April 6, 2021.

[6] Roznama Ummat (Pakistan), April 6, 2021.

[7] Roznama Ummat (Pakistan), April 5, 2021.

[8] Roznama Ummat (Pakistan), April 5, 2021.

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