Taliban Prohibits Hezb-e-Islami’s Leader From Holding Meetings & Making Political Comments

Tuesday, 04/16/2024

Sources close to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leader of the Hezb-e-Islami party, informed Afghanistan International on Monday that several Taliban members visited Hekmatyar's residence and prohibited him from delivering speeches and holding political meetings.

Hekmatyar's son did not confirm or deny the issue.

According to sources, after Hekmatyar made statements regarding the US drones occupying Afghanistan's airspace, some Taliban officials visited his residence and deemed his remarks contradictory to their principles.

During a gathering with some of his party members on Eid, Hekmatyar mentioned that US drones were patrolling Afghan airspace, saying that Afghanistan's airspace was under occupation. He expressed his refusal to accept any form of US presence or occupation in Afghanistan and urged the Taliban to refute statements made by the US Special Representative, Tom West.

Hekmatyar stated, "Tom West mentioned in the US Congress that there is an active intelligence presence in Afghanistan. Such a statement is not ordinary but rather the words of a responsible individual."

He further mentioned that West claimed that the US has provided two billion dollars to the Taliban and the group is fulfilling their promise. The leader of Hezb-e-Islami emphasised that the Taliban should have rejected the statements made by this American official.

Although it remains unclear which statements of the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Hekmatyar was referring to, US officials have previously indicated that the US is monitoring the activities of terrorist groups in Afghanistan.

The US government has conducted numerous attacks in Afghanistan with the assistance of drones operating in Afghan airspace, and the Taliban are unable to prevent these aircraft from entering Afghan airspace. In one such drone strike, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of Al-Qaeda was killed in Kabul.

US Republican representatives in Congress have criticised the Biden administration for losing the ability to monitor and carry out operations against terrorist groups in Afghanistan following withdrawal of all forces from the country.

Reports of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's meetings being banned and even facing a form of "house arrest" have also circulated on social media.

The Pashto section of Afghanistan International reached out to Habiburrahman Hekmatyar, the son of the leader of Hezb-e-Islami. Without confirming or denying the news about his father, he wrote, "Encountering challenges and fluctuations in the political struggle while advocating for truth against tyranny and lawlessness is natural."

Tensions between Hekmatyar and the Taliban have recently intensified. In the latest incident, the Taliban evicted him from his residence in Darulaman area of Kabul, where he had been residing since the signing of the peace agreement with the government of Ashraf Ghani, claiming that the property belonged to the Ministry of Defence.

Hekmatyar has consistently voiced criticism against the policies and leadership of the Taliban.

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