The reconciled leader of Hizb-e-Islami, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, at a press conference in Kabul on Sunday cautiously reacted to the ongoing intra-Afghan dialogue in Doha and said foreigners are looking to “monopolize” the Afghan peace process and that the Afghan government does not have a role in appointment of the delegates who are holding talks with the Taliban in Doha.
Almost 50 delegates from Afghan politicians, former MPs, civil society members, government officials, journalists, and youths have attended the two-day conference in Doha which kicked off on Sunday. A 17-member Taliban delegation has also attended the conference.
“Foreigners are trying to monopolize this highly important national issue and the talks between the Afghans which began in Qatar is a clear example of this. Neither the government nor the president [Ashraf Ghani] is aware of this,” Hekmatyar said.
There is a clear agenda for peace talks, he said, adding that transparent elections were the only way to bring the country out of the current crisis.
“We expect the presidential elections should be held in a free and just manner and we hope that there will be no rigging by the election commission,” Hekmatyar said. ‘There is a need for a guarantee to organize transparent elections. The foreign forces should not meddle in it and it should be held under the monitoring of presidential candidates.”
In contrast to Hekmatyar’s assertions, officials from the High Peace Council said the dialogue between the Afghans in Doha could bring new hopes for engaging in purposeful peace talks between the warring factions.
“A door for talks has opened for the Afghan people. We were not too much optimistic about the talks between the Americans and the Taliban,” the deputy head of the High Peace Council Abdulhaq Haqyar said.