Former Afghan prime minister and Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) chief Gulbuddin Hekmatyar on Saturday accused the backers of the peace process of lying and misleading the public because “jihad” alone could resolve the country’s crisis.
In his Eidul Fitr message, Hekmatyar said those who expected that the peace process would yield a solution to the crisis in Afghanistan were lying. “The only solution is to continue the jihad until all the foreign forces fully leave Afghanistan,” he said in a statement emailed to The Express Tribune.
Hekmatyar’s Hizb-e-Islami had been involved in talks with Afghan government and US officials, which were eventually suspended after Kabul signed a strategic partnership agreement with Washington earlier this year.
The Taliban had also been involved in talks with the US over the past two years but the process has now been suspended in the wake of differences over certain issues, including the release of prisoners.
“Those who think that the war will end in the presence of foreign military are wrong,” said Hekmatyar, who has been in hiding for years.
He said peace and security could only be restored if foreign forces withdrew from Afghanistan, adding that not only was the mujahideen strong, but the cost of the ongoing war, which was $120 billion annually, was taking its toll on the US economy.
He went on to praise Afghan fighters for launching attacks during Ramazan, which, he added, were the most in number since the past 11 years.
“This long war has pushed the US and its allies to serious financial and political crises. They have not achieved anything and are biting everyone like a wounded snake,” Hekmatyar said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2012.