Hekmatyar-led HIA one of key armed groups

Create: 05/21/2015 - 10:43

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) is a key politico-militant group, whose leader and members claim the entity was founded under the leadership of Gulbadin Hekmatyar in 1977 (1348) during King Zahir Shah’s rule.
Since its creation, HIA has opposed all governments formed in Afghanistan. It has been averse to the governments of Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan, the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), Burhanuddin Rabbani, the Taliban and Hamid Karzai.
In recent years, however, the party entered into dialogue with the governments it had been fighting against. On most occasions, these negotiations failed to resolve differences or prevent conflicts.
After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, the Hekmatyar-led HIA emerged as one of the strong jihadi organisations. It ran military training centres and had fighters in all provinces of the country.
In March 1992, when the Communist government of Dr. Najibullah in Kabul was toppled, Hekmatyar refused to join the Burhanuddin Rabbani-led government as prime minister. His forces captured parts of Kabul. 
However, he faced fierce opposition from other jihadi outfits, including the Jamiat-i-Islami led by Burhanuddin Rabbani and armed supporters of Ahmad Shah Massoud.
The Peshawar Accord was a peace and power-sharing agreement establishing the post-communist era Islamic State of Afghanistan. It was signed on 24 April 1992 by six major Afghan anti-Soviet resistance parties except for the Hezb-i-Islami. The Peshawar Accord, which enjoyed the support of parts of the Najibullah administration and senior communist generals as well, established an interim government for a transitional period to be followed by general elections.
Forces loyal to Hekmatyar, Rabbani and Massoud began a civil war in Kabul, which led to the deaths of around 50,000 civilians in capital city alone.  As the civil strife dragged on, important alignments and developments took place. By the end of 1992, Hekmatyar reached a deal with Junbish-i-Islami chief Abdul Rashid Dostum and the Hazara jihadi faction Hezb-i-Wahdat led by Abdul Ali Mazari to form a common front against the Rabbani government.
They set up the Shura-i-Hamahangi (Council of Coordination) before laying siege to Kabul, unleashing massive barrages of artillery and rockets that led to the evacuation of UN personnel from Kabul, and caused several government members to abandon their posts. However the new alliance did not spell victory for Hekmatyar and in June 1994, Massoud had driven Dostum's troops from the capital.
Meanwhile, other mujahidin factions started to close in on the capital city from different sides, Hekmatyar's Hezb-i-Islami from the south, Abdul Rasul Sayyaf's Ittehad-i-Islami from the west, Abdul Ali Mazari's Hezb-i-Wahdat also from the west and the Hezb-i-Islami (Khalis) from the east.
In early 1993, he accepted another offer from Rabbani to become prime minister. But he never personally joined the government, and instead sent Ustad Farid from Kapisa province to Kabul as prime minister. This alliance lasted only several months, and in January 1994, he resumed rocket attacks on the capital from his base in Charasyab district.
After the Taliban seized Kabul in 1996, many of the Hezb-i-Islami commanders fighting under Hekmatyar either joined the militia or fled to Pakistan. HIA’s training camps in Pakistan were taken over by the Taliban and handed over to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) in Pakistan.
Hekmatyar escaped to Iran in 1997. He lived in a palatial house north of Tehran, but was not trusted by Iranian authorities. Hekmatyar was not allowed either to leave the city or meet others Afghans living in Iran. During the Taliban regime, unlike other jihadi outfits, HIA fighters refused to join the Northern Alliance against the hard-line militia. Later, the party also opposed the US-led coalition’s invasion of Afghanistan to fight terrorism.
The HIA refused to recognise the government of Hamid Karzai in 2002 and started fighting against Afghan and foreign forces. In an unexpected development last year, the party announced its decision to take part in presidential and provincial council elections.
Qutbuddin Hilal, HIA’s former deputy head, supported the decision. But he won only 2.7 percent of votes, finishing 5th behind Dr. Abdullah, Ashraf Ghani, Zalmai Rassoul and Prof. Sayyaf.
After the parting of ways by Maulvi Younas Khalis with the party during the jihad era. In recent years, other factions led by Khalid Farooqi, Waheedullah Sabawoon, Juma Khan Hamdard and Qazi Amin Waqaad also left the parent organisation.
After joining the Karzai administration, these factions were given some government seats. The faction led by Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal fielded Eng. Mohammad Khan as vice-president of Dr. Abdullah in the 1994 presidential vote. Currently, he is the first deputy chief executive.