Former Afghani Prime Minister and leader of the Hezb-e-Islami (Islamic Party) Gulbuddin Hekmatyar accused the United States of handing Afghanistan to Iran on a silver platter.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat at his residence in Kabul, Hekmatyar said that Afghanistan was the country that was most harmed by Iran, which is paying funds to keep the war in Afghanistan going.
Iran is manipulating the security of Afghanistan, he said, pointing out that the solution must start from Afghanistan and that holding elections was the first step in achieving it.
Hekmatyar stressed that the US has failed to achieve its objectives in Afghanistan.
“If Arabs had sustained interest in Afghanistan as before, Iran could not have been able to penetrate Iraq, Syria and Yemen,” he said, affirming that confronting Iran’s role and stopping its expansion starts from Kabul.
The Afghan leader had returned to political life after reconciliation was struck with the Kabul government.
When asked about why he returned to politics, Hekmatyar said that he made his decision after 90 percent of foreign troops withdrew from Afghanistan and the rest were going to withdraw by the end of 2017, as promised by former US President Barack Obama.
He further noted that his party does not want to fight against Afghan forces unless it wants to defend itself, and that it should focus its fight against the US and foreign forces.
“We have done a lot since coming to Kabul, and we are achieving in one week what we have failed to do in many years.”
Hekmatyar denied returning to Afghanistan after reaching a secret understanding with Washington and Kabul to confront the Taliban insurgency.
He explained that the main reason behind the problems in the country is neither the opposition forces nor the Taliban. Instead, it is the government, which failed in its political and military strategies. He also blamed problems on foreign forces his country.
“In its 18 years of fighting against Afghans, the US did not achieve any of its goals, and the NATO has failed in its declared objectives.”
However, he added, that the Taliban did not achieve its goals through its insurgency and that the objectives of both sides would only be achieved at the negotiating table.
Asharq Al-Awsat noted that Russians were expelled from Afghanistan by Afghans, and they are now trying to enter again through peace attempts. It asked Hekmatyar if Russian attempts will succeed in bringing the Afghan people together and the reason why the Islamic party did not attend the talks.
“In the past, when the Russians and Warsaw Pact withdrew from Afghanistan, we called on foreign forces not to interfere in Afghanistan, but unfortunately this was not achieved and the Russian vacuum was filled by another foreign party.”
He hoped this will not happen again after the withdrawal of US forces, stressing that he does not want his country to be dominated by any foreign hegemony.
He also expressed confidence that the Islamic Party would win 30 percent of parliamentary seats if the results were not falsified.
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