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Hekmatyar faces backlash after rejecting involvement of Pakistanis in Helmand conflict

AT News

KABUL: Ministry of Interior has heaped scorns on Hezb-e-Islami leader, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, for rejecting reports that Pakistani nationals were involved in the large-scale militant onslaught against security forces in southern Helmand province.

Hekmatyar recently brushed off the government claim that 40 Pakistani terrorists were among the militants killed by Afghan security forces in Helmand clashes.

In riposte, Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry took on Hekmatyar and called his remarks about Pakistani terrorists in Helmand conflict as ‘shameful’.

“Afghans saw that more than 200 Pakistani terrorists fighting against the people and security forces in Helmand,” said Tariq Aryan, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry. “But Afghan security forces served valiantly to push back the terrorists,” he stated.

Hekmatyar is said to have strong ties with Islamabad, where he had once owned military training center and sanctuaries to train fighters for fighting the Soviet Union and the following wars including the civil wars that left thousands of people killed and maimed, and as well as thousands of families displaced.

Hekmatyar also called for formation of an interim government, saying that the Taliban denies the incumbent administration.

Helmand local officials said that more than 300 Taliban were killed by the Afghan security forces. According to the officials, at 30 Afghan security forces and ten civilians lost their lives.

The clashes in Helmand was considered against the peace deal the militants signed with the US on February 29th . To help the Afghan security forces on the ground, the US Air Force has conducted some airstrikes that inflicted heavy casualties on the militants.

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