Former Afghan PM Gulbuddin Hekmatyar arrives for talks on Afghan peace today


ISLAMABAD: Former Afghan warlord and two-time prime minister in Kabul Gulbuddin Hekmatyar will be arriving in Islamabad today for a three-day visit focusing on Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace process.

The visit comes nearly three weeks after a recent visit by Dr Abdullah Abdullah — Afghanistan’s top envoy for the ongoing negotiations between the Kabul government and the Taliban.

Pakistan is engaged with all Afghan stakeholders for the sake of the peace process, the Pakistani Ambassador in Kabul, Mansoor Khan, told foreign media.

“We are in touch with President Ashraf Ghani and his government. We invited Dr Abdullah Abdullah, who is chairman of HCNR and also a leading politician in Afghanistan coming from the Jamiat-e-Islami party and had a useful exchange of views with him about the peace process and bilateral relations. Now we will be hosting Gulbuddin Hekmatyar who hails from another leading Afghan party Hizb-e-Islami,”  he was quoted as saying.

He added: “Pakistan has a policy of expanding its outreach to all Afghan leaders and politicians so that conditions for the intra-Afghan negotiations remain conducive and the process continues to move forward.”

Hekmatyar, who fought against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s and later served as the country’s prime minister, will be on a three-day visit to Pakistan at the invitation of the Foreign Office.

He leads Hizb-e-Islami, a militia which is also a political party.