LAHORE - Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a former prime minister of Afghanistan, says that no leader or party of his country ever “incited” any foreign power to invade Afghanistan and any claim to the contrary was baseless, concocted by the invaders.

“If they asked the Russian or American forces to invade, they did so on being asked by them to do so,” the veteran leader said in a written interview to The Nation, major portion of which was published by this newspaper on Friday.

Hekmatyar said no Afghan leader, family or party, including the ones who came to power, or were helped by the Russians and Americans reach the seat of power, as well as those who had differences with such elements, incited any foreign power to invade their country.

Differences between Afghan parties provide no justification to foreign powers to intervene in Afghanistan, said Hekmatyar, who is also the chief of the Hizb-i-Islami Afghanistan.

According to him, differences among political parties of Afghanistan were created by the invaders. “If somebody thinks that the Soviet forces had come to Afghanistan on being requested by Babrak Karmal or Hafizullah Amin or Nur Muhammad Tarakai, or that the American forces came on being asked by Professor Rabbani or Ahmed Shah Masood, he is totally wrong”.

“The reality of these ‘invitations’ is that Moscow and Washington justified their interventions through media propaganda”. The Afghan leader, who is fighting against the occupying forces in his country, was asked why the foreign powers always like to invade his country and why the Soviets and Americans had learnt no lesson from the way the British had been forced to leave. Also, he was asked to what extent disunity among the political forces of Afghanistan was responsible for “attracting foreign invaders”.

The HIA chief said the strategic importance of the country made the imperialist powers set their sights on Afghanistan. Referring to the Soviet motives behind its invasion of Afghanistan, Hekmatyar said it wanted access to the Indian Ocean through this landlocked country. Now America wanted to use Afghanistan for “occupation” of the vast territories of Central Asia.

The Afghan leader said after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the major headache of the US was to ensure that the experiment of Jehad should not succeed. To achieve this target it opposed the formation of an Islamic government in Afghanistan and in other Islamic states, majority of which have become colonies of the West either politically, economically or administratively.

He said: The Soviet Union not only failed in its designs but also disintegrated. Instead of taking any lessons from this experience, the US decided to make an experiment of its own. The US believed that it would not have to face the kind of resistance the Soviet Union had to as in its assessment after the collapse of the USSR there was no major power left that could support the Mujahideen.

He said the subsequent developments were in line with the US calculations. Not only no country did not stand by the Mujahideen, even our neighbours, including Moscow, supported the US. Despite all this, the US was entangled in what is regarded as the longest failed war.

Responding to a question, the HIA chief said that Mullah Omar had either died or was killed some three years ago and was buried at some unknown place, unknown even to family members and important Taliban leaders.

According to him, the new amir of the Taliban would be one having control over money and arms. He said some Taliban leaders allege that Mullah Akhtar Mansour was involved in the murder of Mullah Omar.