Hekmatyar needs to comprehend today’s realities

Tuesday, 02 May 2017 03:20 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 181 times

The only expected benefit of the success of peace talks between Afghan government and the Hekmatyar-led Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) was that it will help restore people’s and militants’ faith in the peace process. The government also did not expect anything other than that because theHIA-affiliated fighters did not have a strong presence in the battlefields that could help significantly reduce the level of violence after joining the peace process. Regardless of Hekmatyar’s past, Afghans welcomed the move in the hope that it will become a good start for a lasting peace and stability in the country. 

 

However, after his public appearance in eastern Laghman province, Hekmatyar, as per his usual habit, once again resorted to criticism.  His first target was the Taliban, then the media and then implicitly the leaders of the National Unity Government (NUG). Without mentioning the names of President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah, he said if they could not work together as partners, one of them should make a historical decision and cede the power to another. In his two public speeches, he has seriously taunted the Taliban for their role in the violence against the people of Afghanistan while also encouraging them to return to the negotiating table. 

His taunts are apparently a reaction to the claims of some Taliban sympathizers on social media who have accused him of surrendering to Americans. As an individual who claims to be a leader of a political party, and who has newly joined the reconciliation process, it was not appropriate for him to respond to allegations in his initial addresses. Also as a messenger of peace, he should have tried to convince the Taliban to join the peace process through a reconciliatory tone instead of making ironic remarks against them. 

Furthermore, he also vehemently blasted the media twice, which has invited strong reactions from people. The freedom of press and speech is one of the major achievements of the last decade and a half gained through a lot of sacrifices. The protection and sustainability of this gain is a priority for Afghans; therefore, Hekmatyar’s statements have drawn reactions. Hekmatyar who has newly joined the mainstream politics in Afghanistan needs to exercise caution. He has to realize the ground realities of the country, and eschew making remarks that are against the mentality of Afghans.