Saturday, October 01, 2016

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s second coming is a US-Pakistan enterprise - atimes

One of the most colorful figures of the Afghan jihad, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, recently signed a peace deal with Kabul which is also seen as a back-to-back US-Pakistan deal.  Hekmatyar, who lives in Pakistan with his family, is known for his anti-Indian views. As India openly supports Baluchi nationalists in Pakistan, Islamabad wants to  sever the ties between Delhi and Kabul and Hekmatyar can guarantee that in future. India has reason to be worried.

The draft peace accord initialed on September 22 in Kabul between the Afghan government and the famous Mujahideen group Hezb-e-Islami (HiG) prima facie devolves upon the latter bidding farewell to arms and gaining acceptance as a mainstream political party.  It seems deceptively simple as a principled formula stemming from reconciliation.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is, arguably, one of the most colorful figures of the Afghan jihad and the leitmotif of Thursday’s peace deal will inevitably have a lot to do with his enigmatic personality.

Hekmatyar has passed through the hands of almost all the foreign intelligence agencies at one time or the other who have been involved in the Hindu Kush since the seventies in the great game– ranging from the Soviet KGB and the CIA to the Saudi and Pakistani intelligence.

That alone highlights that Hekmatyar is an immortal soul and his second coming cannot but graze on geopolitics.

Hekmatyar is a hugely ambitious political personality and a ruthless practitioner of power play. Today, he’d aspire for nothing less than Afghanistan’s presidency. So much from now onward will depend on how his over-vaulting ambition plays out.

If his past record is any indication, he will not brook opposition to his quest for power. Has he tempered and imbibed the spirit of democratic change? Time will tell. 

Prima facie, Washington has a bounty on his head as a wanted terrorist, and he is also on the UN’s list of dangerous terrorists. The western press berates him as the ‘Butcher of Kabul’. Yet, White House lost no time to welcome Thursday’s deal. - Read More

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s second coming is a US-Pakistan enterprise


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