Hizb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar at an event on Sunday blamed the Afghan government and the US for the deadlock in the Doha negotiations, saying that the United States has “failed” in its fight against the Taliban while calling the incumbent government “occupied.”
Hekmatyar, who addressed an event marking the 32nd anniversary of the withdrawal of Soviet forces, blamed the Afghan government for not releasing Hizb-e-islami leaders and threatened to hold a widespread protest surrounding the Presidential Palace if the government does not act on its commitments to Hizb-e-Islami.
“The US has no option or alternative except withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan,” Hekmatyar said.
Hekmatyar, who signed a peace deal with President Ashraf Ghani in September 2016, said he has exact information that arms are imported to the country to form militias against the Taliban.
“Containers full of arms and weaponry are brought into Afghanistan and are distributed to those warlords who had previously fought against the Taliban,” Hekmatyar added.
Some of the attendees at the event supported the Taliban in their remarks. But the Presidential Palace called support for the Taliban a crime.
“The fight by the few Taliban who fought with empty stomachs and defeated 160,000 NATO forces is also a pride for the people of Afghanistan,” said Allah Gul Mujahid, a member of Hizb-e-Islami.
“Those secular people and communists have brought infidel forces into our country and this has resulted in the continuation of jihad till today,” said Hamidullah Danesh, a member of Hizb-e-Islami.
Hekmatyar said the incumbent government is the “most corrupt” in the world.
“If you don’t understand, be sure that this move will result in your removal,” he said.
But Zia-ul-Haq Amarkhil, the governor of Herat and head of the joint commission of the implementation of the government’s agreement with the Hizb-e-Islami, said that the government has released 1,164 Hizb-e-Islami prisoners and that only 74 of them are in custody, and these were convicted of various crimes.
The Presidential Palace reacted to the remarks and said Hekmatyar ran for president under this government.
“All the Muslim world agrees that the Taliban war against the people and the government of Afghanistan is illegitimate. Anyone who sees this war as legitimate shares in this crime and sin,” presidential spokesman Dawa Khan Menapal said.