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Govt signs draft peace deal with HIA

AT-KABUL: The government has signed peace agreement draft with the Hezb-i-Islami of Afghanistan (HIA) party led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, said first deputy of the chief executive Mohammad Khan.

Briefing newsmen on Wednesday, Khan said that the HIA had not demanded any privilege or government posts.

“The only demand of the HIA is to remove Hekmatyar’s name from the international blacklist,” Khan said.

The agreement would put a positive impact on the security situation, he said, calling the draft of the agreement a positive step. “But more work would be needed for a final deal.”

“The deal would be finalized when it is signed by the HIA leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.”

“I welcome the HIA’s node to the peace and reconciliation process.”

Khan added that the HIA party has agreed not to have any links with the anti-government and armed insurgent groups.

He said that he exact whereabouts of the Hekmatar’s was not clear.

However, Khan said that Afghan government and the HIA agreed in draft that the pullout of the foreign forces should have accordance with the agreements already done.

“No commitment has so far been made regarding the prisoners of the HIA members,” he said, adding that prisoners’ issue could be dealt based on the constitution.

The United States also welcomed political negotiations between the Afghan government and the Hezb-i-Islami party.

“We support an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process for a negotiated resolution of the conflict in Afghanistan,” said John Kirby, spokesman for the Department of State.

“All relevant groups including Hezb-i-Islami of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, should be part of such a political dialogue so that Afghans can talk directly to other Afghans about the future of their country,” Kirby said.

Hekmatyar, a former jihadi, was a hardliner opposition of the West-backed government. His fighters have carried out some attacks against Afghan and international troops in the past years.

He was believed to live in Pakistan’s Peshawar city in the nearly four decades.

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