January 19, 2019

THE DISCIPLINE OF DEMOCRACY:

Former Afghan warlord Hekmatyar enters presidential race (Reuters, 1/19/19) 

His decision to contest the presidential polls in July is seen by analysts as the ex-warlord's attempt legitimize his Hizb-i-Islami party. The faction has been blamed for atrocities committed during Afghanistan's brutal civil war, which led many Afghans to welcome the emergence of the Taliban in 1996 in the hope the hardline Islamist group would restore law and order.

In 2003, the U.S. State Department listed him as a terrorist, accusing him of taking part in and supporting attacks by al Qaeda and the Taliban. But Washington later welcomed Ghani's decision to sign a peace deal with Hekmatyar.

In 2016, President Ghani's government granted immunity to Hekmatyar but the former warlord has been critical of his administration and the parliamentary election process in 2018.

Announcing his candidacy, Hekmatyar pledged to restore peace and security and said the current government had failed to end the war with the Taliban.

"Our country's situation requires a powerful central government lead by an elected president supported by the majority of people," he told a news conference in Kabul.

Posted by at January 19, 2019 8:27 AM

  

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