Hekmatyar: Intl Forces Looking for Afghan Exit

Hizb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, addressing a gathering of the Jamaat-e-Islami in Lahore, Pakistan on Saturday, said that NATO has “accepted” its defeat in Afghanistan and is now seeking ways to leave the country.

He said the Afghan government was responsible for the ongoing situation and said he would attend upcoming conferences on Afghan peace in Istanbul and Moscow.

At the event, which was held for the Hizb-e-Islami party leader by the Jamaat-e-Islami, Hekmatyar said the US wants to establish a new government in Kabul as soon as possible.

“The US wants to quickly withdraw its remaining forces from Afghanistan and to change the government in Kabul, which is their supporter and the cause of the violence, to a government that is acceptable for all Afghans,” Hekmatyar said.

“We support the two meetings and will attend them,” Hekmatyar said.

The head of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Siraj ul Haq, at the same event announced his support for the peace talks in Doha.

“The Jamaat-e-Islami’s stance is that the US should leave so that Afghanistan becomes stable and Afghans should make their government on their own,” Haq said. “I want to say that peace in Afghanistan is a need for the world, for China, Russia, India and the entire region. There are some who fear that if Afghans make their own government, they interests will suffer,” Haq said.

Hekmatyar’s visit to Pakistan has been met with criticism.

“Mr. Hekmatyar has lost his hold on Afghanistan and wants to find a place to seeking foreign sources,” said Waqif Hakimi, an MP.

Many Afghan politicians, including Abdullah Abdullah, Mohammad Karim Khalili and Ahmad Wali Massoud, have traveled to Pakistan in the last four months and have held talks with its leaders and officials, but this was the second visit by Hekmatyar during this time.