Abdullah Abdullah, head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, on Monday reacted to remarks by Hizb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, calling them “the language of threat and insult,” saying such talk “doesn’t work” in Afghanistan and it is not what the people expect from their political leaders.

Addressing an event on Sunday, Hekmatyar warned of holding big protests and surrounding the Presidential Palace if Hizb-e-Islami prisoners are not released by the government.

“If you didn’t understand, be sure that this move will result in your removal,” Hekmatyar said.

Abdullah said that Afghanistan needs peaceful messages that encourage mutual respect.

“My message to our own political leaders will be that the country needs the message of calm, the message of peace, messages of respect. The language of insults or threats has not worked in the country and the people do not expect it,” Abdullah said. “Unfortunately, from time to time when we have the microphone in a sort of agitated crowd, sometimes messages are not helpful, but I hope that we all see the interest of the nation is in working together, in unity and in the support of an acceptable, dignified and durable peace.”

First Vice President Amrullah Saleh called Hekmatyar’s remarks “a political joke” while the CEO of Jamiat-e-Islami, Ata Mohammad Noor, said Hekmatyar is raising his voice to remove the system from a house that is rented for him by the government, and called Hekmatyar’s statement “ridiculous.”

“The language of hatred, the language of humiliation, the language of war, the language of coup, were revived and he drew the sword in front of all Afghans to say that he is the champ. We haven’t seen you act like a champion,” said Ahmad Wali Masoud, head of the Ahmad Shah Massoud Foundation.