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Hekmatyar claims political parties already in talks with Taliban

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(Last Updated On: August 31, 2020)

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leader of Hizb-e-Islami, says that Afghan political parties have already started negotiations with the Taliban, and that initial agreements have been made.

In an interview with Ariana News, Hekmatyar stated that government’s negotiating team is not “comprehensive” and government is consulting with Afghan political parties on issues around the process.

He said that there is no consensus between government and the political parties on the Afghan peace process.

“Government does not have a political consensus, they have not reached an agreement with the leading political parties; therefore, it made the parties start direct talks with the Taliban and the Taliban is also ready to sit with the parties around the negotiating table,” Hekmatyar said.

“An initial agreement has been reached even on the location of the negotiations. The Taliban also knows that the system is not honest and they are wasting time,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hekmatyar believes that government is following a hostile policy, and urged government to change its approach to the Taliban.

The Hizb-e-Islami leader said: “I think reaching peace with the current system is impossible. If anyone wants the system and the security forces to be sustainable, and not to face Dr. Najibullah’s fate: they must enter into peace negotiations honestly.”

Najibullah was the president of Afghanistan from 1987 until his resignation in April 1992, shortly after which the mujahideen took over Kabul. After a failed attempt to flee to India, Najibullah remained in Kabul living in the United Nations headquarters until his death at the hands of the Taliban after their capture of the city.

Hekmatyar also stated that government “should not look for an alternative ally to pursue the Afghan war.”

In addition, Hekmatyar claimed that the Afghan government has no authority to make the decision in terms of the peace process, saying that the “US is a decision-maker in the process.”
The Afghan government has not yet commented on Hekmatyar’s remarks.

Opposition grows over Ghani’s decree
Hekmatyar’s statement is another hurdle in the way of intra-Afghan negotiations after a number of prominent figures baulked at President Ashraf Ghani’s decree Sunday appointing more than 40 members of the High Council for National Reconciliation.

First to reject his appointment was former president Hamid Karzai, who was then followed by former foreign minister Salahuddin Rabbani and Hekmatyar.

Abdullah Abdullah, the Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation meanwhile issued a statement Monday opposing Ghani’s decree.

He said the president does not have the authority to appoint people to the body tasked with leading peace talks with the Taliban.

Abdullah said in the statement that “consultations about the formation of the council continue with political and civil society leaders and it will conclude soon.”

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Islamic countries to meet on Afghanistan crisis on Dec. 19

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2021)

Pakistan’s foreign minister called on Saturday for a fresh effort to stop neighboring Afghanistan sliding further into crisis as he announced an extraordinary meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) later this month. 

The meeting of foreign ministers from Islamic countries will be held in Islamabad on Dec. 19, with delegations from the European Union and the so-called P5 group of the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China also invited.

“To abandon Afghanistan at this stage would be a historic mistake,” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi told a news conference in Islamabad, warning that half the country was facing the risk of starvation that could trigger further chaos.

“Instability could give way to renewed conflict, it could trigger an exodus of refugees,” he said.

There have been growing warnings of the humanitarian crisis facing Afghanistan since international aid was abruptly cut following the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) takeover on Aug. 15 and fears of disaster if the situation is not brought under control.

However, getting help in has been hindered by sanctions on dealing with the IEA, the U.S. decision to freeze billions of dollars of central bank reserves held outside Afghanistan and the collapse of much of the country’s banking system.

Pakistan recently agreed to allow 50,000 tonnes of wheat to transit through its territory from India to help Afghanistan but aid agencies have warned that much more help is urgently needed.

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Pakistan to let Afghan trucks transport wheat from India to Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2021)

Pakistan’s has allowed India to transport 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat and life-saving medicines through Wagah as humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, the Pakistani government said in a statement Saturday.

“With a view to further facilitate Pakistan’s decision to allow transportation of 50,000 MT of wheat and life-saving medicines from India to Afghanistan via Wagah border on an exceptional basis for humanitarian purposes, it has been decided to also allow the use of Afghan trucks for transportation from Wagah border to Torkham,” read the statement.

“This demonstrates the commitment and seriousness of the Government of Pakistan to facilitate the proposed humanitarian assistance.”

The statement noted that the decision was conveyed to the Charge d’ Affaires of India on Saturday at the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs adding that “the Indian government was also urged to proceed quickly to take necessary steps to expeditiously undertake the delivery of the humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.”

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France, Europeans working to open joint mission in Afghanistan: Macron

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(Last Updated On: December 4, 2021)

Several European countries are working on opening up a joint diplomatic mission in Afghanistan that would enable their ambassadors to return to the country, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday.

Western countries have been grappling with how to engage with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) after they took power in Afghanistan in mid-August.

The United States and other Western countries shut their embassies and withdrew their diplomats when the previous government collapsed, following which the IEA declared an interim government whose top members are under U.S. and U.N. sanctions.

“We are thinking of an organisation between several European countries… a common location for several Europeans, which would allow our ambassadors to be present,” Macron told reporters in Doha before heading to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Reuters reported.

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