KABUL/ ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister of Afghanistan and Hizb-e-Islami chief Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has urged the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan to take sincere and effective steps to overcome a widening gap between the countries, saying their combined enemy would take benefit of the situation and the people of the two countries would suffer.
In an exclusive chat with a group of Pakistani journalists at his residence, he said steps should be taken to overcome misconceptions and trust deficit between the two neighboring Muslim countries. “I see the gap between Islamabad and Kabul is widening and on the other hand Kabul and Delhi are coming closer to each other,” he added.
He said that if Pakistan has some concerns over the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the matter should be resolved through joint sincere efforts. He said that the banned outfit was formed and activated during the US aggression here. It was an old issue and it should not be linked with the current government of Afghanistan, he added.
“We want resolution of this issue. We have talked to Taliban leaders for this purpose,” he added. The Taliban, too, have made efforts to resolve the issue as its further deterioration would result in more problems, which is not good for both the countries, he maintained.
About Daesh, he said it was not a big issue. “It also came to the fore during the US invasion. This organization is backed by intelligence agencies of certain countries. No Muslim can think about attacking a mosque or even the worship place of non-Muslims,” he said while referring to the recent attack on a Sikh temple in Kabul.
Hekmatyar expressed deep concern over the problems faced by the Afghans in movement across the border to Pakistan. He said the Afghans have to suffer great insults at the border. Similarly, the issuance of visas to Afghanistan was also a matter of serious concern. They have to pay USD 950 to 1000 for getting a Pakistani visa and that too after serious humiliation, he claimed. At the border the Afghans have to wait for several nights for crossing into Pakistan, he added.
“If the Pakistani government has some issue with the Taliban government, it should be better resolved at the government level and the people should not be punished for it,” he suggested. About the situation in Afghanistan, he said the current government inherited a devastated Afghanistan where active war had been fought for nearly five decades. The US wanted to withdraw its forces and leave its system intact. The Taliban too had agreed to this and it had been decided in the Doha accord as well, he said. But events happened against their desires. The Afghan president fled away before the US troops’ withdrawal.
“Now they wanted to take revenge by imposing another war on Afghanistan,” he said.
“They have frozen bank accounts of Afghanistan and their drones fly in the air of Afghanistan to put pressure on the current government. If any country wants to recognize the Taliban government, the US threatens it to stay away from it,” he added.
He said that there was a greater need for an impartial and strong and stable government in Afghanistan. “We are happy with the current government. War has ended. Foreign aggressors are no more here. The Afghans can have a system of their own,” he said.
He said that the Taliban government should overcome the internal problems first before making efforts for recognition by the foreign countries. The Taliban should first formulate an elected parliament, which should introduce a constitution for the country, he added. “This way they would get legitimacy and the world nations would then be forced to recognize Afghanistan,” he suggested.