Hekmatyar sets terms for poll participation

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Kabul, (afviews): Gulbadin Hekmatyar, leader of Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA), an Islamist group fighting against NATO and Afghan forces has offered the Afghan government a two-point proposal for his party’s participation in the 2014 presidential election.

In his recent interview with a local private TV channel, Hekmatyar said they would field a presidential candidate if their demands at the top complete pullout of foreign troops and vote transparency were endorsed.

“We want elections to be free of fraud, but will not accept the wrong election policy that has been imposed on the Afghans by foreigners," said Hekmatyar.hekmatyar-gulbudin

Reminded of the Afghanistan High Peace Council's calls for lifting restrictions on his movement, the HIA leader said it was not worth commenting on.

It seems to me of a little importance, he said, adding, “I did not travel to foreign countries and had no account or money in banks, therefore, restrictions on me had no impact on my movement”.

He lampooned the US announcement of handing over all prisoners and inmates to Afghan control, saying it would happen automatically because the Americans were left with no option but to leave.

“When the Americans want to subject detainees to harsh punishment, they transfer them to Afghan custody. You can't expect anything better from the Americans in this context,” Hekmatyar commented.

About his group's contact with the Kabul administration, Hekmatyar said they were not in good health, pending a final White House decision on the US troop presence in Afghanistan.

Hekmatyar ruled out negotiations with the Karzai government if it granted immunity to post-2014 American soldiers. "In such a case, we would have no other option except continuing our armed resistance," the HIA leader said.

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