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Taliban can’t force their way to power: Hekmatyar

HEKMATYAR01KABUL: Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) leader Gulbadin Hekmatyar, emerging from two decades of hiding, said on Friday that no one could rule the Afghans against their will.

At a meeting with a delegation led by Nangarhar Governor Gulab Mangal and HIA leaders in Mehtarlam, Hekmatyar said all Afghans had rendered sacrifices for the liberation of their motherland.

Now the long-suffering people earnestly desire and an end to the war and enforcement of lasting peace in the country, according to the ex-prime minister, who believed that outsiders could not bring stability to Afghanistan.

“We ourselves should put an end to the conflict and work for durable peace through an intra-Afghan dialogue in line with people’s aspirations,” he remarked, calling for a strong central government.

War did not offer a solution to any problem, the HIA chief argued, saying they would have perpetuated the conflict if it had been in the interest of the country, its people or Islam.

“We waged a jihad when it was needed and defeated the aggressor. Now is the time for peace — something that the Afghans badly needed. And that’s why we have reconciled,” he continued.

Hekmatyar said the Taliban would never be able to force their way to power, as no one could rule the Afghans against their wishes. He asked the militant movement to pursue its goals peacefully.

“If you are really kind to this nation, renounce the war and embrace peace,” he said, referring to the Taliban. “We want a representative central authority that could ensure national unity,” the ex-jihadi commander reiterated.

The HIA chief explained: “We differ with the Taliban because they want to rule by force. Whoever stands behind them, the Taliban could not govern the people through coercion, No one is going to accept it,” he observed.

Great international powers that wanted to subjugate the Afghans eventually disintegrated, he said, stressing: “All of us must join hands for peace — a longstanding dream of our martyrs and compatriots.” -Pajhwok


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