Presidential candidate Gulbuddin Hekmatyar on Saturday said the Afghan security forces are not going to the battlefield with a “holy motivation” and that they are joining the lines of the forces due to economic constraints and poverty.
Mr. Hekmatyar, who signed a peace deal with the Afghan government in 2016, said that unemployment, insecurity and the number of drug addicts are increasing in the country.
He said that 22,000 people have applied for only eight positions in one instance due to the rising unemployment rate.
Mr. Hekmatyar, who addressed a gathering of women in Kabul on Saturday, said more than 300 members of Afghan National Defense and Security are killed every day, warning that the situation will be worsened.
“Ten to twelve bodies of security forces are sent to Badakhshan [province] on a daily basis. None of them are believing in the holiness of the war. Economic constraints have pushed them to join the lines of the Afghan forces,” he said.
Mr. Hekmatyar said the National Unity Government is the main hurdle for peace and that the leadership of the government sees their continuance in war.
He said the National Unity Government's leadership "is happy" in continuation of the war.
He called on the Taliban to continue talks with Afghans as their negotiations with the Americans have “failed”.
The Hizb-e-Islami leader added that Afghans should make the ultimate decision on the future of their country.
Mr. Hekmatyar meanwhile pointed out to some differences between President Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and said one of them is issuing a decree, but another is refusing to implement it.
“They [government leaders] were relaxed when [US President Donald] Trump canceled the negotiations [with the Taliban]. They [government leaders] are happy in continuing the war,” he said.
Meanwhile, presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi called Mr. Hekmatyar’s remarks irresponsible an insult to the Afghan forces.
“These remarks are irresponsible. We see it as an insult to our [security] forces and we call on Mr. Hekmatyar to apologize from the security forces of Afghanistan,” Mr. Sediqqi said.