Hekmatyar Expected in Kabul Next Week
Hizb-e-Islami announced that Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of Hizb-e-Islami, will return to the country next week. Hashmatullah Arshad, a spokesman for Hizb-e-Islami, blamed the snail-paced implementation of the peace accord for the delay in Hekmatyar's return to Kabul. He accused unnamed Afghan rivals of trying to sabotage Hekmatyar's return but asserted that the challenges have been resolved. In September-end last year, the national unity government signed a peace deal with Hizb-e-Islami and agreed to request the UN to remove his name from a UN blacklist. Hizb-e- Islami became the only insurgent leader to sign a peace agreement with the Afghan government, in what many hoped would provide a model for a wider reconciliation with the Taleban.