Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, June 29th, 2017

Hekmatyar’s Run-up on the Ground of Hezb-e-Jamiat

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Hekmatyar’s Run-up on the Ground of Hezb-e-Jamiat

It is likely that with the participation of Ahmad Zia Massoud – the former Special Representative of the President of Afghanistan in Reform and Good Governance – in Friday’s demonstration and setting up tents for sit-in in Kabul’s crowded street, which has created headache for people, leads to negative consequence for both Hezb-e-Jamiat and demonstrators.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar made a strong statement. Besides accusing the demonstrators in struggling to climb Presidential Palace, he said that he would neither agree nor let anyone dismantle the current administration. He asked if there was any alternatives or if they were able to protect a military checkpoint. He also put blocking the road under question emphasizing that no one could gain the power by force and all Afghans have the right to express their demands but not through blocking streets.
Hekmatyar pointed out that changing or reforming would be possible only through democratic ways and added that he would never be the presidential candidate for the upcoming election if there was hundred per cent chance for his victory.
Regardless of his own belief in democracy, Hekmatyar articulated what the international community and the US expected to hear from him. Afghan government paid considerably to bring Hekmatyar to the peace process. Although it will be too early to predict Hekmatyar’s high objectives, the government’s struggle for bringing him seems to be fruitful. He backed the government in the very right time. His support comes as the militants have intensified their attacks and an upsurge in political and factional dissatisfaction put pressure on Ghani’s administration. His support will change the political balance. In fact, he consolidated his state in supporting the current administration and his decision to play a role in the political setup.
In the complicated game broke out with a massive suicide attack in Kabul, Ghani and Hekmatyar seem to have upper hand. On the other hand, the demonstrators and Hezb-e-Jamiat sustained the harm, since Zia’s presence put both the impartiality of the demonstration and Hez-e-Hamiat under question. So, the ground was paved for his newly arrived rival Gulbuddin Hekmatyar who appeared as a strong proponent of Afghanistan’s political administration so as to consolidate his political position for the government and international community.
The surprising paradox is that Hekmatyar, taking into consideration the current situation, presented himself as the “administration’s proponent” with a small move despite fighting for 16 years against the government. On the contrary, he showed his former rival Hezb-e-Jamiat as the “administration’s opponent” despite having half of power in the government within 16 years. Ghani and Hekmatyar’s victory will be more noticeable when Ghani refused the removal of the National Security Advisor and top security officials demanded by demonstrators.  
It seems that Hezb-e-Jamiat Islami does not enjoy integrity and unity nowadays. Whether to stay in the government’s body or not, a strong disagreement has emerged among the party’s leader. The leaders of Hezb-e-Jamiat also understand the fact that as long as the administration is taken under the US’s wing, their political boycott will neither trigger sadness nor gratitude.
To one’s unmitigated surprise, journalists, cyberspace users and even some politicians focused on the words of citizen and citizenship explained by him. The cyberspace was replete with satire following the Hekmatyar’s interpretation of citizen, which outweighed the main subject and channeled the public attention to minor issue. To be honest, this was the less significant part of the conference. The important topic was when he said, “I don’t let anyone dismantle this administration”. This sentence, which changes his warmonger stance into a peaceful one, will create fear and anxiety. The enigmatic message of this sentence codified by literature of Mujahedeen’s period will be understandable by Hezb-e-Jamiat.
After all, blocking the roads and difficulties created by the tent-dwellers for Kabul residents act as a double-edged sword which will hurt the demonstrators, too. The voice of simple citizens raised against suicide attacks, explosion, insecurity, unemployment and political game is also being raised gradually against blocking roads in Kabul city. The energy for protest seems to be waning and the demonstrators look disappointed. Despite the high ambitions stated in first days, the tent-dwellers for sit-in lack an effective management and there are no more than 20 to 30 persons in the tents. It is believed this low number without a strategic plan will be able to change the administration.

Dr. Farid Khorosh is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at the outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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