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Author Topic: Pakistani Sources say 'US floats Hekmatyar-Karzai power sharing formula'  (Read 1720 times)
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« on: May 13, 2009, 10:01:33 AM »

LAHORE: Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the former prime minister of Afghanistan and the chief of the Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA), once favoured by Washington and later declared a most wanted fugitive by the FBI, has recently been offered a power sharing deal by the Obama administration for the post-election set up in Kabul, as a part of the US exit strategy from Afghanistan.

Well-informed diplomatic circles in Islamabad say the power sharing deal was floated recently by US Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke during his Afghanistan visit. Holbrook reportedly asked President Karzai that following the failure of his efforts for a truce with the Taliban leadership, he should start communicating with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who carries a $25 million bounty together with the Taliban ameer Mullah Mohammad Umar. The diplomatic circles say the Obama administration has already re-established contacts with Hekmatyar’s close circles and have offered some ministries in the Kabul government to his party, but if he agrees to renounce militancy and join hands with Karzai before the upcoming presidential elections in Afghanistan.

The diplomatic sources said that a deputy of Richard Holbrooke and an emissary of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (believed to be his longtime lieutenant Daud Abidi, an Afghan-American based in California as well as a prominent businessman, social worker and a former representative of the HIA) also took place in recent weeks which is being described in the White House circles as a landmark move in the US’ stated aim of involving militant groups in ending the conflict in Afghanistan. At the same time, however, there are those who say the choice of Hekmatyar also indicates just how desperate the United States is in finding an escape route from the escalating crisis in Afghanistan.

For years, the decision makers in CIA have branded Hekmatyar an irreconcilable militant. The fact, however, is that his Hizb-e-Islami still enjoys standing in Afghanistan and literally controls the strategically crucial province of Kapisa. The Americans concede that Hekmatyar’s forces have emerged since last year as the most important component of anti-Western coalition resistance in the wear torn Afghanistan. While most of Taliban-led resistance is situated near the Pak-Afghan borders, insurgent forces loyal to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar hold complete command over Kapisa province’s Tagab valley, hardly 30 kilometers north of Kabul.

The HIA, founded by Hekmatyar, was one of the most effective mujahideen groups to fight the Soviet invasion during the 1980s. Pakistan always wanted him to run Afghanistan for Islamabad but he was never trusted by the fellow Pashtun militias and kept out of Kabul. Hekmatyar had fought his Afghan rivals mercilessly and hardly ever compromised. Isolated in the extreme, he went and stayed in Iran to survive, and returned from there in 2001 in time to, as he boasted to the BBC, “Help Osama bin Laden escape from Tora Bora after the US-led Allied Forces invaded Afghanistan”. As things stand, he himself is rumoured to be flitting between Kapisa and the trouble stricken North Waziristan tribal region in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan with some important contacts within the Pakistani establishment.

The Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan (Islamic Party of Afghanistan, or HIA), sidelined from Afghan politics since the fall of the mujahideen regime to the Taliban in the mid-1990s, had re-emerged last year as an aggressive militant group, claiming responsibility for many bloody attacks against the Allied and NATO Forces and the administration of President Hamid Karzai. Led by 61-year-old Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a charismatic engineer, former premier and mujahideen commander once favored by Washington—the HIA had even claimed responsibility for an attack on a military parade in Kabul from which President Hamid Karzai escaped unharmed.

Although Hamid Karzai may have serious reservations over the recently floated American power sharing formula, the diplomatic circles say he is under grave American pressure to seriously think over the proposal and take a decision as early as possible. These circles say the American power sharing offer indicates Hekmatyar clout in the Afghan politics, though his name has been largely absent from the Afghan scene over the last few years. However, the diplomatic circles say Karzai’s decision to choose Afghanistan’s worst warlord, General Faheem, as vice president for the coming elections could spoil any possible deal between Karzai and Hekmatyar?

These circles say it is difficult to imagine Hekmatyar letting his party cohabit with a government that has his old Tajik sworn enemy as vice president. The Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan, whose political wing has offices all over Afghanistan and keeps 40 seats in the Afghan parliament, has already repeated its resolve to replace Afghan President Hamid Karzai in the upcoming presidential elections. Hekmatyar’s close circles insist he has a great future in Afghan politics being the only credible Pashtun strongman untainted by al-Qaeda and possibly capable of taking on the Taliban as well.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2009, 10:04:23 AM by Ahhangar » Logged
Amir al Ghaznavi

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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2009, 07:07:26 PM »

considering hekmatyars esteemed peers sit in govt, i guess the man feels a little left out lol
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