Exploratory discussion: Hizb-e-Islami to hold peace talks in Kabul

Militant group willing to offer Washington ‘face-saving’ exit.

Manzoor Ali April 06, 2012
Exploratory discussion: Hizb-e-Islami to hold peace talks in Kabul


A delegation of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hizb-e-Islami (HI)  is due to hold talks with US and Afghan government officials in Kabul to discuss a roadmap for peace in the war-battered country.

This was revealed on Thursday by Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan’s political committee head Dr Ghairat Baheer.

Speaking to the media, following the 44th founding anniversary of the Afghan militant group at the Shamshatu refugee camp on the outskirts of Peshawar, Dr Baheer said that, so far, two rounds of talks had been held and a delegation of the HI was bound to reach Kabul in the near future.

Baheer, also the son-in-law of former Afghan premier and HI chief Gulbudin Hikmatyar, parried questions about what was being discussed. However, he added that negotiations were in “early stages” and that no breakthrough had been made yet.

“We want a meaningful dialogue in a transparent manner in order to chalk out a peaceful solution of the Afghan problem. We do not believe in secret dealings,” he asserted.

Responding to a query regarding the talks between the Taliban and the US, Baheer said that the Taliban were their “brethren” and that they were trying to coordinate a joint strategy with them, so that a unified Afghan response could be presented during the talks.

However, he did not go into details of the parleys between the two leading militant groups engaged against the US-backed Karzai government and Isaf troops.

“Americans are losing the war in Afghanistan,” said Baheer, when asked about the US position in Afghanistan. However, he added that they were optimistic about peace.

He said that Americans were acknowledging that war was not a solution to the problem.

“We can offer the US, a face-saving solution and opportunity of a safe withdrawal from Afghanistan.”

Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th, 2012.


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