With US Drones In Air, Afghanistan's Full Independence Remains Unfulfilled, Says Hekmatyar

Tuesday, 04/23/2024

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leader of Hezb-e-Islami, has stated that with the Taliban assuming power in Afghanistan, the foundation for an "independent and robust government" in the country has been established.

However, Afghanistan's airspace remains under United States’ occupation.

Hekmatyar has demanded from the Taliban that if the United States does not cease this action, "its embassy should be closed, and all Americans should be expelled from the country”.

Shahadat, the official publication of Hezb-e-Islami, published Hekmatyar's remarks on Monday in a statement alongside pictures of Hibatullah Akhundzada, the leader of the Taliban; Hassan Akhund, the group’s Prime Minister, and Sirajuddin Haqqani, the group’s Minister of Interior.

The statement quotes Hekmatyar as saying that after the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan, people had hoped for the establishment of their "preferred Islamic system, a strong government with popular will, an independent country free from foreign influence”.

It states, "It is clear from today's circumstances that we still face numerous threats and obstacles on this path."

Hekmatyar emphasised that Afghans who played an active role in the wars against the US and the Soviet Union should unite on a specific axis.

It appears that Hekmatyar, despite facing political constraints from the Taliban, has suggested cooperation with them. This is noteworthy, considering the Taliban's rejection of any collaboration with other political groups in the past two years.

Hekmatyar reiterated that "the country's airspace is still under US occupation, and unmanned aircraft constantly fly over Afghanistan's airspace and carry out arbitrary attacks”.

He emphasised that the US "should refrain from its evil actions and respect Afghanistan's national sovereignty, as well as its land and airspace independence”.

Hekmatyar called for the closure of the US embassy and the expulsion of its staff, despite the fact that the US Embassy in Kabul is closed and operates from Qatar.

The leader of Hezb-e-Islami had previously alleged that the US is present in Afghanistan and supports the Taliban. However, the Taliban has denied this allegation.

The group has acknowledged its current inability to prevent US drones and aircraft from entering Afghanistan's airspace.

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