Home Latest News Hizb-i-Islami’s Hekmatyar Urges India to Focus on ‘Internal Issues’

Hizb-i-Islami’s Hekmatyar Urges India to Focus on ‘Internal Issues’

by Newsweek Pakistan

File photo of Gulbuddin Hekmaytar. AFP

In interview with APP news agency, former Afghanistan prime minister appreciates Pakistan’s efforts for peace, hopes for inclusive government in Kabul

Hizb-i-Islami chief Gulbuddin Hekmatyar on Sunday urged India to play a “positive” role in Afghanistan and respect the decisions of Afghans in its future dealings with Kabul.

“India should not transfer its conflicts with Pakistan to Afghanistan,” he told the Associated Press of Pakistan news agency in Kabul. “Afghan soil will not be allowed to be used for proxy wars,” he added. The former Afghanistan prime minister recalled that India had once supported the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan and had also backed NATO strikes in the war-torn state.

Peace and stability—and not conflict—was in the best interest of the entire region, including India, he said, and hoped that India would support the Afghan people in their struggle for the restoration of peace.

Appreciating Pakistan

Addressing the evolving situation in Afghanistan, Hekmatyar told APP that an inclusive government comprising all political parties was needed to “stop further bloodshed” and steer the country toward progress. He said that initial talks about the formation of a new government had been ongoing since the signing of the Doha peace agreement, adding that “formal talks” should resume once all foreign forces had exited the country.

Claiming that any future government would have the support of all ethnic groups, he said political dialogue was the only answer. “Afghans have been tired of the long-conflict and fighting and now they want to bring peace and stability to their war-torn country and collectively work for its reconstruction and progress,” he said, claiming that Afghans were ready to “forget the past” and go forward together to address all challenges facing the country.

To a question on the failure of intra-Afghan talks that resulted in former president Ashraf Ghani resigning and fleeing Afghanistan after the Taliban had encircled Kabul, he said: “Our enemy can cast negative impact on Afghan peace process but the U.S. and other forces have no right to interfere in Afghanistan issue.” He emphasized that only Afghans could decide on their future.

“There has been a positive change in the present Taliban,” he claimed and appreciated the efforts of Prime Minister Imran Khan for backing a peaceful and negotiated settlement in Afghanistan.

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