Analysts: HIA tight-lipped about civilian causalities to please Americans

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 03:15 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 107 times

 In addition to the National Unity Government (NUG) and a number of politicians who have been accused of deal-making with the United States, the Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) party has largely remained silent on recent civilian causalities caused by US airstrikes.

 

Political analysts believe the Hekmatyar-led HIA party, which was the second major militant group after the Taliban before it joined the peace process, has kept quiet about civilian causalities in a bid to gratify Americans. 

Esmat Qani, a political analyst, blamed close relations and secret deals between Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and foreign embassies for HIA’s silence on civilian causalities. 

Talking to The Heart of Asia, he said speaking out against civilian casualties was a national issue; however, HIA has not returned to Afghan politics with a national stance; he rather came to Kabul with the support of foreign embassies and elements, and now embraced a position as instructed by them. 

When innocent people were killed in Afghanistan, and nobody showed any reaction, how they could claim they were representatives of people, Qani argued, blasting HIA stance on other political matters as its leader most sent a message of violence in his statements. 

Mohammad Hassan Haqyar, a political expert, said HIA has not released even a single statement in response to civilian causalities caused by foreign troops. 

"HIA has been silent on civilian causalities in order not to displease foreigners, particularly Americans," Haqyar told The Heart of Asia. 

The government and HIA had similar stance on incidents in which civilians were killed or wounded by foreign troops, Haqyar uttered, stressing there was no reason to justify the silence on civilian casualties. 

By keeping silent, HIA wanted to send a message to some countries that it could tolerate or justify the activities of foreigners in Afghanistan if they made deals with HIA, Haqyar alleged. 

Muhsen Ekhtyar, a military expert, said HIA was gradually moving on a direction which it previously criticized. 

HIA has accepted that foreigners should have a presence, and a legal permission to conduct operations in Afghanistan, an issue for which HIA would always taunt other Jihad leaders such as Sayyaf and Rabbani.

He said all religious parties such as Jamiat-i-Islami (JIA), Dawat, also known as Ittehad-e-Islami and Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan had similar stances, all to please the US. 

We tried to have HIA’s comment, but to no avail, though its press office promised it would respond.