A win-win situation: ‘UN Security Council lifts sanctions on HIA leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar; Afghan officials laud the removal’
KABUL: The United Nations Security Council on Friday dropped sanctions against Gulbuddin Hekmatyar the leader of Hezb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA), aimed at supporting peace drive in Afghanistan.
As part of peace deal, the Afghan government requested the UN Security Council to remove HIA from black list. The group considered as the second largest armed group in the country.
According to a statement published on 3rd February by the Security Council, a UN committee removed Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s name from the sanctions list.
According to statement the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning ISIL (Da’esh), Al‑Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities removed the name of HIA leader Hekmatyar from the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List.
“UN Security Council removed Hekmatyar’s name following request by the Afghan government,” President Ashraf Ghani’s Advisor, Akram Khpalwak told newsmen on Saturday. The call for removal comes after the Afghan government signed a peace deal with HIA.
According to him, the removal is a “sign by the UN Security Council to support peace process” in Afghanistan.
He added that work is going over the fate of HIA prisoners by the Attorney General Office, and the outcome would be shared at the future. He also informed of government preparations to welcome HIA leader in Kabul.
Pointing out to the success of peace deal between government and HIA, Khpalwak called on all armed groups, including Taliban insurgent to shun violence and join peace and reconciliation process.
Peace with HIA was an intra-Afghan process, which supported by all Afghans and International community, he mentioned.
Mohammad Karim Amin, Head of HIA Delegation said, “removal of HIA leader’s name from UN-black list is a positive step toward peace in Afghanistan.” He said that based on peace agreement, removal of HIA leaders from UN-black list was a need. He ensured people that HIA would exert utmost efforts to maintain peace all over the country.
“Removal of HIA leader is a clear sign of UN support for Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process,” he noted.
Maulawi Abdul Khabir, Deputy for High Peace Council (HPC), while voicing pleasure over removal of HIA leader’s name form UN-black list, said, “this step revealed that the Afghan government is committed for bringing peace and stability in the country.”
“Breakthrough in peace process between government and HIA is a sign showing that Afghans has the capability to resolve their challenges at any condition.”
President Ashraf Ghani and the leader of Hezb-e-Islami Afghanistan, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in September formally signed peace agreement.
The peace agreement was finalized after nearly two years of formal and non-formal negotiations. The peace draft contains three chapters and 25 articles.
The agreement would facilitate reintegration of the HIA members in political system and dignified return of Afghan refugees from neighboring Pakistan as well as release of the party members from prison.
The HIA committed to accept Constitution of the country and renounce anti-state activities. The party also pledged to end its ties with terrorist outfits.
By Farhad Naibkhel
THE PASHTUN TIMES