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Delivering a Friday sermon at a mosque in Kabul, Hizb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar condemned the July 31, 2022 drone strike that killed Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, saying it is an act of terrorism and an attack on Afghanistan's territorial integrity.
In the hour-long sermon delivered on August 5, 2022, Hekmatyar also spoke on the U.S.-led War on Terror and its outcome and impact on other countries, especially on the U.S. and Afghanistan. In addition to the U.S. drone strike on Al-Zawahiri, the sermon touched on the themes of the Doha Agreement and America's motives behind the withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan, the China-Taiwan standoff, the Iran-Israel standoff, and the Russia-Ukraine War.
Hekmatyar said that the U.S. has failed to present to the world proof of Al-Zawahiri's death: "Till this moment, the U.S. has been unable to present accurate proof of the killing of Zawahiri in this strike. It is only a claim. The [the U.S.] has neither presented the proof to his nation and the world nor has it taken any picture to show to the media," he said.
Hekmatyar went on to say: "All the Afghans consider this attack as a cruel aggression and encroachment on their national integrity, country, and air space, and strongly condemn it. It is, without any doubt, an act of terrorism that can never be justified with any reason and proof. It is neither the way to implement justice nor the way to reach peace."
"20 Years Ago, Attacks Were Carried Out In New York And Washington – These Attacks Had Past Causes Which Encouraged Some Youths To Prepare Themselves For Sacrifice And Take Their Revenge"
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Hekmatyar said that U.S. drone strikes have created terrorism and terror groups, and all that the U.S. calls terrorism and terrorists were the outcome of "these crimes and attacks." The Hizb-i-Islami leader reflected on the 9/11 attacks: "20 years ago, attacks were carried out in New York and Washington. These attacks had past causes which encouraged some youths to prepare their selves for sacrifice and take their revenge. It was not the beginning rather the outcome of past [American] actions," Hekmatyar said. He added: "The U.S. invaded Afghanistan to overcome the damage suffered to its credibility and standing as a result of the September 11 attacks and had not won this war when it went to Iraq and attacked Iraq on the pretext to find chemical weapons and killed lakhs [hundreds of thousands] of Iraqis."
"Those who impose war on others, the flames of the same war will move to their houses," the former prime minister of Afghanistan said, adding that the incidents of mass shootings in the U.S. were the result of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars because what their troops are repeating in the U.S. what they learned in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Afghan warlord, known as the "Butcher of Kabul," was in hiding before he emerged in Kabul in 2017 and struck a deal with Ashraf Ghani-led Afghan government. He is in Kabul and delivers sermons every Friday. Hekmatyar, who fired rockets on Kabul during the civil war when he was the prime minister in the early '90s, is one of the most controversial figures of Afghanistan.
"Had They [Americans] Come Only For Revenge [For 9/11 Attacks], They Would Have Pulled Out From Afghanistan After Killing [Osama Bin Laden] – Why Had They Stayed Until This Year?"
"They [the U.S.] ignited the flames of war in Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Libya. The wars they started are still underway. All the wars begun in this century were in the Islamic countries, either in Asia, Africa or even in Europe. They didn't stop, even, after the killing of Osama [bin Laden] and stayed in Afghanistan. It meant they hadn't come for revenge; rather they had come for the permanent occupation of Afghanistan but were forced to withdraw empty handed. Had they come only for revenge [for 9/11 attacks], they would have pulled out from Afghanistan after killing him [Osama bin Laden]. Why they stayed here until this year?" Hekmatyar questioned.
Hekmatyar said that the U.S. was compelled to ink the Doha agreement in Qatar on February 29, 2020, and withdrew from Afghanistan, adding that the U.S. neither respected its own agreement nor brought an end to its interference in Afghanistan and efforts toward another proxy war. Expressing doubts about America's intentions behind its hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan, Hekmatyar said the U.S. and NATO withdrew from Afghanistan with the intention of beginning another war.
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"The Doha agreement was only a deception, not a true peace agreement. The U.S. has not shown any respect to this agreement. The airspace of Afghanistan is not safe. Afghans are not owners of their country. In fact, the air and land are not in the hands of Afghans. Neither our land is safe nor the air [space]," the former mujahideen leader said.
With the drone strike on the Al-Qaeda chief in Kabul, the U.S. wanted to give a message that none of their enemies are safe in Afghanistan, he said, adding that Ayman Al-Zawahiri lived for 20 years in Afghanistan's Nuristan, Paktika, Khost, and Musa Kala district of Helmand province and Pakistan's tribal district of Waziristan, but the U.S. could not find him and kill him. "How did Zawahiri come to Kabul and on whose assurance? Who and how the Americans were informed where did Zawahiri was living? These serious questions must need to be answered," he said.
"Israel Is Terrorizing Iran's Scientists Who Are Working In Nuclear Installations And Is Killing Famous Scientists One After The Other"
Hekmatyar said that the United States, in an attempt to create rifts among the Taliban, is spreading propaganda saying that certain Taliban leaders sheltered Al-Zawahiri and hosted him in Kabul while some other Taliban officials helped the U.S. in finding him and his location. Accusing former Afghan spymasters of serving the interests of certain countries and involvement in terror incidents, including the killing of religious scholars, bombing Kabul Stadium during a cricket match, and firing rockets into Uzbekistan, Hekmatyar said that all the intelligence chiefs of the previous governments in Afghanistan had been appointed on the choice of certain countries following the Bonn Agreement in December 2001, and they and their personnel are still working for the secret agencies of these countries. "Indeed, [Afghan spy chiefs] were and still are the employees of foreign countries' intelligence networks," he claimed.
He further accused Israel of eliminating Iran's nuclear scientists. "Israel is terrorizing Iran's scientists who are working in nuclear installations and is killing famous scientists one after the other in Tehran and has also claimed responsibility. They are threatening Iran, saying they will not allow it to access nuclear weapons. And [Israel] is even preparing itself for another attack on Iran. Whether it succeeds or not, is another issue. But what will be the stance of the U.S. in this war? We should wait for it," he concluded.
Source: Youtube.com/watch?v=oVdDvLvW2ZY&ab_channel=BARYATV, August 5, 2022.