Afghanistan

2016-09-29 13:49:52 | Al Muslim News | #Afghanistan
 Afghanistan
Afghanistan

 

KABUL: Former Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar called for peace as he appeared by video to sign a deal with President Ashraf Ghani Thursday, marking a symbolic victory in Kabul's struggle to revive talks with the Taliban.

The deal paves the way for Hekmatyar, who heads the now largely dormant Hezb-i-Islami militant group but has been in hiding for years, to make a potential political comeback despite a history of war crimes.

But analysts have said it represents a practical success in Afghanistan's 15-year bid to negotiate peace with militant groups, and comes as a boost for President Ashraf Ghani ahead of a development aid conference in Brussels next week.

“Now is the time for the Taliban to think about whether they want to continue the war or come for peace,” Ghani said as he signed the deal at the presidential palace in Kabul.

Security was tight in the capital, with the road to the palace blocked.

Chief executive Abdullah Abdullah, former president Hamid Karzai, delegates from Hezb-i-Islami and other politicians also attended the ceremony.

Hekmatyar, derided widely as the “butcher of Kabul”, offered his congratulations to the government and “all those Afghans who want peace and stability in the region” as he signed a copy of the deal via video link.

“I pray that our country be independent and sovereign, and our innocent and war-weary nation end the fighting and ongoing insecurity, and that unity prevails,” he said.

Hekmatyar was a prominent anti-Soviet commander in the 1980s who stands accused of killing thousands of people in the Afghan capital during the 1992-1996 civil war.

The deal, which grants him judicial immunity, paves the way for him to make a comeback in mainstream politics in a pattern well established by other warlords, such as General Abdul Rashid Dostum, currently the country's first vice president.

But it has sparked revulsion from human rights groups and residents of the capital who survived the civil war, some of whom launched street protests when it was announced last week.

Human Rights Watch warned Hekmatyar's return would compound a “culture of impunity” in Afghanistan.

The deal was struck last Thursday but the government said it would not come into force until it was formally signed by Ghani and Hekmatyar.

Hezb-i-Islami has been largely inactive in recent years, and the deal is not likely to have an immediate impact on the security situation in Afghanistan.

The government took the opportunity last week to renew its offer for peace talks to the Taliban, who have persistently refused to engage in negotiations as they ramp up their nationwide offensive against the Western-backed regime.
Ref: Dawn News

.

Tags: #Afghanistan #

Latest News

What to Next

Finance minister and PM's son to be appear before joint investigation team today.

ISLAMABAD: The joint investigation team (JIT) probing the Sharif family's business dealings abroad has summoned finance minister Ishaq Dar to appe... More

Pakistan blast victims end sit-in as demands met

Islamabad, Pakistan - Thousands of protesters in the northwestern Pakistani city of Parachinar have ended a week-long sit-in following twin blasts tha... More

Large gathering to pray in collective funeral, held for Bahawalpur oil tanker fire victims

BAHAWALPUR: Collective funeral prayers for the victims of Bahawalpur oil tanker fire was held in Ramzan Joiya village, Ahmedpur East, here on Tuesday ... More

At least 123 killed in tanker fire near Bahawalpur

At least 123 people have been burnt alive and dozens of others injured after an oil tanker caught fire and exploded near Bahawalpur in Pakistan's ... More

Qatar denied all dictations from Saudi Arabia.

Qatar has dismissed a list of demands submitted by four Arab nations as neither reasonable or actionable.   This list of demands confirms w... More

Twin blasts kill dozens in Parachinar market

At least 26 people have been killed and 75 others wounded when twin explosions ripped through a crowded market in northwest Pakistan, according to off... More

Afghanistan suicide bomb kills at least 34

At least 34 people were killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province on Thursday. The bombing targeted Afghan troops ... More

India arrests 15 for celebrating Pakistan`s Champions Trophy victory

NEW DELHI: Indian police have in remission fifteen Muslims and filed offence charges against them for celebrating Pakistan’s triumph against Ind... More

Younis becomes first Pakistani to score 10,000 runs in Test cricket

KARACHI: Seldom have we waited for a sporting milestone with such eagerness, and anxiety, as we did for master batsman Younis Khan to complete 10,000 ... More

30