Kabul asks UN to clear Hekmatyar’s name

Four members of UNSC are ready to lift sanctions

Tahir Khan December 14, 2016
As a mujahideen leader Hekmetyar enjoyed considerable support from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Afghan government has formally approached the UN Security Council (UNSC) to remove the name of Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) chief engineer Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and the insurgent group’s other leaders from its black list, a Hizb leader said on Tuesday.

The HIA spokesman Haroon Zarghoon told The Express Tribune that delisting Hekmatyar and other leaders was one of the key conditions of the peace agreement signed between the group and Kabul administration in September this year.

In Kabul Tawab Ghorzang, spokesman for the Afghan government’s National Security Council, also confirmed the move and said the Foreign Ministry has sent a letter to the UNSC. He was quoted as saying that the permanent members of the Security Council have received the application.

In February 2003,Hekmatyar was listed in the UNSC’s sanctions list as being associated with al Qaida, its chief Osama bin Laden or the Taliban.

Hizb sources told The Express Tribune that Dr Ghairat Baheer, head of the party’s political committee, has gone to China for talks with the Chinese leaders for the “future working relationship.” Baheer will also discuss Beijing’s cooperation in support for the UNSC possible decision on Hekmatyar’s sanctions.

The sources said the US has also invited Hizb leaders to visit Washington. They said four permanent members of the Security Council – the US, China, Russia, and the UK – have assured support but France has yet to make a decision.

The Express Tribune has learnt that Hizb leaders are ‘upset’ at the ‘slow implementation’ of the peace deal. The agreement was signed nearly three months ago but the government has only implemented one point to allow the HIA set up its office in Kabul.

A six-member committee of Hizb and the Kabul administration is assigned the task to work for the implementation of the agreement.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 14th, 2016.


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