Hekmatyar to visit Qatar amid stalled peace negotiations

The leader of the Hezb-e-Islami, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, will fly to Doha amid fragile peace negotiations that have been at pause after Kabul University attack and other deadly insurgent attacks around the country. Although the Taliban denied responsibility, the Afghan government blames the militants for the attack which killed dozens of students.

Hekmatyar earlier traveled to Islamabad, where he met the country’s top officials including Prime Minister Imran Khan. According to the reports, his travel followed a peace agenda.

As the peace negotiations between the Afghan government and Taliban negotiating team seemingly failed, the violence has significantly escalated in the country.

After his trip to Pakistan, Hekmatyar cited controversial remarks which faced a strong criticism by the government.

He suggested that the Taliban declines to recognize the incumbent government and that the only resolving option to the ongoing conflict is to the formation of an interim setup.

He said to have good ties with Islamabad as Pakistan has provided safe havens for his fighters during the war against Soviet Union and the following civil wars.

Hekmatyar emphasized that Pakistan has assured him of sincere cooperation with the Afghan peace process. He said that the government didn’t consult with the political parties regarding the peace process, thus his party started direct negotiations with the Taliban itself.

However, the Afghan government brushed off Hekmatyar’s claim and said all political parties had taken under account in regards to the peace process. President Ghani’s Senior Advisor and Director General of Office of Public and Strategic Affairs, Wahid Omar said that Hekmatyar is making efforts to collapse the current government.