Hekmatyar gives gov’t 10-day ultimatum to accept HIA demands

Dozens of Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) supporters staged a protest rally in Kabul on Friday, demanding the release of the party’s prisoners from Afghan jails.

Addressing the marchers, the Hizb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar set the government a 10-day deadline to meet their demands.

Hekmatyar warned that if the government failed to abide by conditions laid out in the gov’t-Hizb-e-Islami accord – which was signed in 2016 – the protests would be extended to other provinces.

“The Arg (Afghan Presidential Palace) must put aside deception and implement the Hezb-e-Islami agreement and release all our prisoners. We give a ten-day deadline,” Hekmatyar said.

Meanwhile, Hekmatyar claimed that the security forces have prevented his supporters from joining the protest in several parts of the city, aimed at curbing the demonstration.

A number of Hizb-e-Islami members have called on the Afghan security forces to respect civil rights and let the people raise their voices.

“Police, army, and the NDS forces are the children of the country, they have to let us raise our voices,” Abdul Sattar Khawasi a member of the party said.

Habiburrahman Hekmatyar, son of Hekmatyar stated: “If our demonstrations are stopped (police did not open the way toward the city), we will remove all the police checkpoints from the ways.”

The Afghan government and the Hizb-e-Islami leader Hekmatyar signed a peace treaty in 2016.

According to the agreement, Hekmatyar agreed to cease hostilities in exchange for government recognition of the group and support for the removal of US and United Nations sanctions against the group’s leader.

Based on the agreement, the government committed to grant Hekmatyar amnesty for all his past offenses and release Hizb-e-Islami inmates.

Ziaulhaq Amarkhil, a Senior Advisor to President Ghani in Political and Public Affairs and the Governor of Nangarhar, had stated in a tweet that the government released 1164 Hizb-e-Islami prisoners from Jails in 2020.

He said the government has no obligation to release those who are involved in cases of violation of human rights (Haqul Abd – due to mankind), kidnapping, drug trafficking, prisoners who are sentenced to death and are members of Daesh.