Hezb-i-Islami Supports Talks with all Groups within Afghanistan

gbPESHAWAR: The Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA), led by Gulbadin Hekmatyar, has renewed its call for a negotiated settlement of the conflict in Afghanistan.

A senior leader of the party, the second largest resistance group behind the Taliban, wants the Afghan government to hold parleys with all militant outfits.

In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Dr Ghairat Baheer suggested the reconciliation dialogue should take place within Afghanistan.

Given the leadership crisis within the Taliban movement, he believed, the talks might not resume soon.

“The Hezb-i-Islami favours Afghan-led and Afghan-owned talks, as we have always argued that war is no solution to the problem,” he said.

A quadrilateral meeting on the peace process is expected in Islamabad on January 16. Invitations have been sent out to representatives from China, the United States and Afghanistan.

Officials of the four countries will meet to prepare a roadmap for the revival of the talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

Deputy Foreign Minister Khalil Hekmat Karzai is likely lead the Afghan side during the quadrilateral process. He had attended the first round of the Pakistan-brokered talks in July last year.

“We have already floated comprehensive proposals for ending the conflict. We want all-inclusive talks to be held in Afghanistan…” said Baheer, whose party had been left out of the Murree process.

Hekmatyar had always supported meaningful negotiations and expressed his willingness to join an intra-Afghan dialogue, added Baheer, head of the HIA political commission.

He parried the question if the HIA chief would make a public appearance. “Hekmatyar will play an active part in politics if the situation becomes suitable.”

By S. Mudassir Ali Shah

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