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Peace agreement to be finalized with Hezb-e-Islami

By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: Discussions over a peace deal with the Hezb-e-Islami, and anti-government armed group is expected to be finalized from government side in the near future with President Ashraf Ghani signing an agreement with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the group’s leader, an official from the government-run peace council said Sunday.

“People will be aware of the details of the agreement before it is signed,” Ismael Qasemyar, the council’s international adviser said.

“The agreement will be signed by President Ghani, head of the high peace council Sayed Ahmad Gilani and the leader of Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin Hekmatyar,” Qasemyar added.

The peace council had earlier said that the deal would be completed on Sunday after two years of negotiations.

The Hezb-e-Islami’s chief representative Amin Karim had hoped that president Ghani would approve the agreement on Sunday.

Hekmatyar is blacklisted by the United States and the United Nations along with Osama Bin Laden.

Qasemyar said that the government had asked the United States and United Nations to remove Hekmatyar’s name from the backlist.

“We hope they respect our demands and support the Afghan-led peace process.”

He stressed the peace dealing the Hezb-e-Islami could encourage Taliban fighters to come to peace talks with the government.

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