ISLAMABAD: Afghan politician and Hizb-e-Islami’s supreme leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar gave his remarks while addressing the forum in Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad.
Hekmatyar expressed his valuable views on way out of Afghan war, he said that the only durable solution for peace in Afghanistan is that the US should withdraw its troops and a non-aligned, independent and sovereign government should be formed by Afghans in light of their beliefs and traditions without any interference. He warned that is the solution to Afghanistan war is not acceptable to the people of Afghanistan than would lead towards another civil war.
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was addressing the forum where a large number of foreign policy analysts, practitioners and journalists were present. While addressing the intellectuals gathering organized by Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad. This event was his last engagement during his three-day visit to Pakistan on the invitation of Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to the official press release, the forum was chaired by Executive President IPS Khalid Rahman, moderated by Ambassador (r) Syed Abrar Hussain and Pakistan’s special envoy for Afghanistan Ambassador (r) Muhammad Sadiq was also present on the occasion. In addition, Hekmatyar highlighted the investments of Afghan people in other countries during the war. He commented that, Afghans invested about $20 billion in other countries including Turkey and the Gulf states during the war.
He recommended that Pakistan should assist Afghan investors and businessmen therefore allowing them to bring their investment to Pakistan. Hekmatyar advised that Pakistan can facilitate Afghan investors by giving them permission to open bank accounts, buy property on the basis of Afghan passports and long-term visas like those provided by certain European countries.
The Afghan leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar met the top-notch leadership during his three-day visit to Pakistan. During his visit he had held talks with Pakistani officials in this regard and was hopeful that it would be implemented by the Pakistani authorities. Looking into the background of Afghan leader, he has served twice as Afghan Prime Minister in the 1990’s.
He emphasized that said those who have sacrificed for Afghanistan for so many years should have the right to govern the country now. He stressed that; Afghan groups should have the opportunity to enter into negotiations with each other at a neutral platform where the actors should hold discussion on U.S withdrawal from Afghanistan and how to install an independent sovereign government. Hekmatyar further emphasized that the national issues such as constitution and type of government should be left for later after peace is reinstated. He gave clear stance that no one should interfere in the internal matters of Afghanistan, no external forces have the right to take decision on the Afghan’s internal matters.
He said the US has been defeated in Afghanistan without achieving any goals and considers the corrupt and incompetent Kabul government the main reason for its failure. It will be a mistake if the US now adopts another policy other than leaving Afghanistan, he added.
Moreover, Hekmatyar went on and commented on the conspiracy theories regarding future of Afghanistan, he said that unfortunately some countries think a gap will be created once the US leaves Afghanistan which they will be able to fill. He hoped the Americans will not repeat the deadly mistake of the Soviets who established their puppet government in Kabul before leaving Afghanistan. Afghan leader gave a clear warning to the spoilers and rival countries that Afghanistan will not allow anyone to use its soil for violence and hostilities. He clarified that; Afghanistan should not be used by the US against Russia, by India against Pakistan, and by Iran against Saudi Arabia.
While commenting India and Iran intrusion in Afghanistan, Hekmayar added that Iran and India are also supporting Ashraf Ghani’s government, which is surprising as it is weak.
He gave remarks that Afghanistan war will never benefit anyone including India. Hekmatyar warned India that they should refrain from transfer their Kashmir war to Afghanistan. The Afghan leader also commented on the stance of his group regarding the US-Taliban agreement. Hekmatyar said that, his group does have serious reservations about the process but despite of the reservations they want to be part of the negotiations. Nonetheless, it contains the imperative point that the US will leave Afghanistan, despite the fact that its timeframe could have been reduced.
He added that currently, the majority of political parties are not supporting the Afghan government’s stand on the peace process. The current government in Kabul is not ready to enter into negotiations with all political parties. He said that for durable and sustainable peace it is very crucial to bring all stakeholders on board otherwise peace in Afghanistan will stay as a dream.
Hekmatyar also announced that negotiations will start between Hizb-e-Islami and Taliban with the aim to make the peace durable and lasting. Afghan leader also recognized Pakistan’s efforts for assisting the Afghan Peace Process. He said that Pakistan helped the US in Afghanistan but the Americans still ‘preferred India over Pakistan’. This is because superpowers have their own objectives and they do things as per their own interests. While giving his concluding remarks to the forum, Hekmatyar said that his visit to Pakistan comes at a time when the Afghan peace negotiation process is at a critical stage. His notion was that Pakistan is dedicated and committed for an Afghan-owned peace process in Afghanistan. Hekmatyar further added that the Pakistani officials have assured that all mutual problems will be solved steadily through mutual understanding. Hekmatyar emphasized that the peace process would not have been possible without the support of Pakistan.
While addressing the opening ceremony of the IPS, ceremony, Khalid Rahman said that Gulbuddin was one of the first leaders to offer resistance to the Soviets in the 1980s. He played a very important role in Afghanistan ranging from the combat zone to politics. Rahman stressed that those who wish to see peace in Afghanistan must come together.