NAI, an organization supporting open media in Afghanistan, on Monday criticized Hizb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar for his recent remarks regarding the media, saying his comments were in contradiction of Afghanistan’s constitution.
The organization said Hekmatyar’s remarks were also in contradiction of the peace deal his group signed with government.
“Any process that leads to peace must guarantee that the past 15 years’ achievements are maintained and the values are in the constitution and not being insulted,” said Mujib Khelwatgar the CEO of NAI.
Syed Aqa Fazel Sancharaki, deputy minister of publications for the Information and Culture Ministry said Hekmatyar was not in touch with all the changes and new institutionalized values in the country.
Sancharaki said those who are new to the current political system in the country must conform to freedom of speech and democracy in Afghanistan.
“The Afghanistan society and government are indebted to the media’s works and efforts,” Sancharaki said.
Meanwhile journalists in the country believe that Hekmatyar’s statements against the media were irresponsible.
“Those who are working as advisers with those leaders must tell them and make them aware about the fresh evolutions in Afghanistan,” said Bilal Sarwary, one journalist.
While yet another journalist, Danish Karokhail said: “Those who are just joining Afghanistan’s politics and have any problems with the media, or if there is any problem or misunderstanding, come and sit with us and negotiate with us to solve it.”
Journalists and media rights watchdogs said that freedom of speech in the country has come at a high price.
Hekmatyar said on Saturday in his first public speech in about 20 years that the media in Afghanistan was cursed.