President Ashraf Ghani has ordered officials to rent several houses in Darulaman, in Kabul, for Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leader of the Hizb-e-Islami group.
A senior advisor to Ghani confirmed that Hekmatyar is expected to return to Kabul within the next three weeks – following the signing of a peace deal with government last year.
Reports indicate that government has also hired several body guards to provide security to Hekmatyar.
Meanwhile, a Hizb-e-Islami source has said that Hekmatyar would prefer to live in an ordinary house opposed to a fancy mansion.
The houses reportedly earmarked for Hekmatyar are in the same area as Ghani’s home.
“Our Mujaheed brother Hekmatyar is still in the trenches of Jihad. However we have a ceasefire agreement with the government and are complying with it. He is in his country and at the heart of his people,” Hizb-e-Islami’s top negotiator Amin Karim said.
Ghani’s advisor meanwhile said that the issue of Hekmatyar’s security is still under discussion.
He said Ghani has also approved the establishment of a new security management team within the framework of the General Directorate for the Protection of VIPs and it is expected that about 200 Hizb-e-Islami members will be appointed under the new system.
On the issue of releasing the group’s prisoners, Karim said Hekmatyar’s arrival in Kabul needs to coincide with the freeing of their people.
“It is not possible that the Amir of Hizb-e-Islami is in Kabul, without a single prisoner being released. What do we say to a mother whose son was jailed because of the objectives of Hizb-e-Islami. Likewise, our refugees have also the right to return to their country and be provided with a piece of land. These are all technical issues we hope to settle within two or three weeks,” added Karim.
The government has also reportedly approved two more housing locations for Hekmatyar in Kabul’s Bagrami and Deh Sabz districts, Ghani’s advisor concluded.