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Afghan Warlord Hekmatyar Returns To Kabul After Peace Deal




By Olufunke Olorunfemi

Afghanistan,(An24)- Veteran warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has returned to the Afghan capital, eight months after signing a peace deal with the government.

Mr Hekmatyar, an Islamist warlord accused of numerous atrocities, leads Hezb-e-Islami, the country’s second largest militant group.

Under the deal, he has agreed to accept the constitution and abandon violence.

Some see the deal as a step forward for Afghanistan but others say it could exacerbate divisions in the government.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar travelled to the capital from Jalalabad amid tight security, his convoy guarded by an Afghan army helicopter.

President Ashraf Ghani led an event to welcome him at the presidential palace and thanked him for “heeding the peace call”.

Mr Hekmatyar urged the Taliban to hold peace talks, saying: “Let’s end the war, live together as brothers and then ask foreigners to leave our country.”

On Friday, he will lead prayers at a prestigious mosque.

A former prime minister, he is one of the most controversial figures in Afghanistan’s modern history.

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