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With Hekmatyar’s re-entry, Ghani’s government looks fragile

As soon as Hizb-i-Islami chief re-entered the political stage of Aghanistan, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar demanded the resignation of either President Ashraf Ghani or Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah stating that parliamentary system is not suitable for Afghanistan.

Hekmatyar said,” For war criminals to be prosecuted, we first need a strong central government, not a coalition one. The current government is incapable of doing it.”

The already fragile government of Afghanistan received a major jolt with his announcement the Talibans are brothers and he will fight for their legitimate demands and rights. He declared his mission while addressing lawmakers at the Presidential Palace in Kabul.

Hekmatyar’s tough rhetoric  shows his desire  to position himself at the helm of Afghan affairs.

But India needs to be cautious as former warlord is known to be a staunch anti-Indian and there  are rumours that he was secretly hiding  in Pakistan or Iran.

Moreover, Pakistan is likely to enjoy the strategic depth in Afghanistan as he stated that “Talibans are brothers and they are the legitimate part of the nation”.

President Ashraf Ghani has strategically and politically struck a deal with Hekmatyar to side line Abdullah Abdullah from the national unity government.

Thus the equation between India  and Afghanistan is likely to be affected adversely as Hekmatyar is close to Ghani and is not in favour of Abdullah Abdullah, who is half Pashtun and half Tajik. While Abdullah ‘s support base consists of Ismail Khan, Abdul Rashid Dostum, Mohammed Mohaqiq etc who are either Uzbek, Tajik or hazaras and also Jamiat-e-Islami  group which is anti-hekmatyar.

Hekmatyar was branded as the “Butcher of Kabul” during  a siege of Afghan capital in 1992-96 civil war.

On the other hand US and NATO forces will try to reinforce its presence over the bases it has established since 2001.

arti bali

By : Arti Bali

Senior Journalist

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