The Hezb-e-Islami party led by the notorious warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has announced the group is prepared to sit-in for peace talks with the Afghan government.
The group has released a statement saying they are prepared to participate in the peace talks in a bid to show to the nation that Hezb-e-Islami wants peace.
The party also condemned the inclusion of the group’s two members in the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) by the United States, saying the move by the US government comes amid calls by the Afghan government to start reconciliation process.
The US Department of State announced Friday “The Department of State has designated Abdullah Nowbahar and Abdul Saboor as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) under section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which imposes sanctions on foreign persons that have committed, or pose a serious risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.”
A statement by the State Department said the two Hezb-e-Islami group members, Abdullah Nowbahar and Abdul Saboor, are explosive experts for Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG).
The statement further added that both Nowbahar and Saboor participated in the September 18, 2012 attack on a bus carrying foreign employees of Kabul International Airport that killed 12 people.
Meanwhile, the announcement by Hezb-e-Islami to participate in the peace talks comes as the Taliban group has rejected to sit-in for peace talks, insisting on group’s pre-conditions to hold talks.
The Afghan government was expecting to start face to face talks with the Taliban group at the first week of this month following the conclusion of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) meeting last month where calls were made for direct talks. -KP