ISLAMABAD    -  Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan chief Gulbuddin Hekmatyar yesterday completed his three-day visit to Pakistan vowing to hold talks with the Afghan Taliban for peace. The Afghan leaders also thanked Pakistan for its efforts for peace in the war-torn country.

President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and other Pakistani leaders earlier assured full support to the Afghan peace process.  The PM, in a meeting with Hekmatyar and his delegation said Pakistan was committed to regional stability and had played a key role for Afghan peace.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar along with a delegation had arrived in Pakistan on October 19 on a three-day visit.  

Pakistan has consistently supported an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. This is the second high-level visit from Afghanistan in recent weeks. Abdullah Abdullah, the head of Afghan High Peace Council, also visited Pakistan last month.

The Intra-Afghan dialogue is currently in its initial stages, with both sides trying to evolve consensus on the agenda and rules of engagement. Taliban have been urged to agree on a cease-fire, or reduce the violence. Yesterday, speaking at the Islamabad-based think-tank Institute of Policy Studies, Hekmatyar said Afghan President Ashraf Ghani wanted to remain in power which was a big hurdle in intra-Afghan dialogue in Doha, Qatar to end the 19-year-long conflict. “We have decided to start our own negotiations with the Taliban. First, it would be between the Taliban and Hizb-e-Islami, and then all other political parties will join us,” he maintained.

"We support the peace agreement signed between the US and the Taliban despite reservations. Peace in Afghanistan cannot be achieved without bringing all stakeholders on board,” he added.

ISLAMABAD: Leader of Hezb-e-Islami of Afghanistan Gulbuddin Hekmatyar addresses an event at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS).–INP