News / Asia

    Afghan Insurgent Group Says It Is Ready for Peace Talks

    FILE - Afghan President Ashraf Ghani participates in "The New Beginning in Afghanistan: A Conversation with H.E. Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan" at Columbia University in New York on March 26, 2015.
    FILE - Afghan President Ashraf Ghani participates in "The New Beginning in Afghanistan: A Conversation with H.E. Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan" at Columbia University in New York on March 26, 2015.
    Ayaz Gul

    An insurgent group fighting alongside Afghanistan’s Taliban has said it is ready to join political reconciliation talks with the Kabul government, despite being deeply skeptical about peace intentions of the other side.

    Afghan President Ashraf Ghani last week renewed his offer of negotiations to all insurgent groups in his bid to seek an end to the devastating war, now in its 15th year.

    The United States, China and neighboring Pakistan have all welcomed and backed Ghani’s move, though the mainstream Taliban faction has rejected the offer.

    'Prepared to participate'

    But in a statement released to media on Sunday, the Hezb-e-Islami (HIG) faction led by fugitive Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, said it has accepted the government’s offer and is “prepared to participate in the talks to show to the [Afghan] nation it wants peace."

    FILE - This image made from video released to the Associated Press during the week of Nov. 21, 2015 shows Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, now in his late 60s, in an undisclosed location.
    FILE - This image made from video released to the Associated Press during the week of Nov. 21, 2015 shows Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, now in his late 60s, in an undisclosed location.

    An Afghan national unity government spokesman, Javed Faisal, welcomed the announcement.

    "It is an important and good news because Hezb-e-Islami has for years been fighting the Afghan government," Faisal told VOA. He urged other armed opposition groups to join the talks to help end the war. 

    A senior HIG official also told VOA on condition of anonymity that a two-member team has also been formed for the negotiations. It includes the group’s central council chief, Qazi Hakim Hakim, and head of its political affairs, Ghairat Baheer, a son-in-law of Hekmatyar.

    The insurgent group has accused the United States of trying to sabotage Afghan peace efforts. It cited last week’s U.S. State Department announcement in which two senior HIG members were designated as global terrorists for their roles in deadly attacks in Kabul, including a bomb blast that killed six Americans.

    The Obama administration has identified the two men, Abdullah Nowbahar and Abdul Saboor, as explosive experts for the militant Hezb-e-Islami.

    FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2013 photo, Afghan National Army soldiers stand guard on the outskirts of in Kabul, Afghanistan.
    FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2013 photo, Afghan National Army soldiers stand guard on the outskirts of in Kabul, Afghanistan.

     

    It also offered rewards of up to $2 million for Nowbahar and up to $3 million for Saboor for information leading to their whereabouts.

    The designation of two Hezb-e-Islami members as terrorists and offering millions of dollars reward for their arrest at a time when President Ghani has invited the group for peace talks show that Washington is not willing to end its war in Afghanistan, the Afghan insurgent group alleged in Sunday's statement.

    It also blamed certain elements within the Afghan government for opposing peace efforts, but did not elaborate.

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: meanbill from: USA
    March 13, 2016 10:14 AM
    Remember that the losing side in any war (asks) for a ceasefire and peace talks, while the winning side in any war (offers terms and conditions) for a ceasefire and peace talks? .. Now who's (asking) for a ceasefire and peace talks, and who is (offering terms and conditions) for a ceasefire and peace talks? .. After all the propaganda? .. Now you know who's winning the Afghan war? .. don't you?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora