Hizb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar on Saturday suggested the establishment of a transitional government for a one-year term to expedite the peace negotiations with the Taliban but reiterated that the current republic system and the Afghan forces should be preserved. 

He also stressed the need for the establishment of a high council of government with the participation of Afghanistan’s political leaders who will select officials of a transitional government for a one-year term and “then the election should be held.” 

“This system shouldn’t be disintegrated, its entities and structures should be preserved, the Afghan army and security forces should not be dissolved, and the situation after (president) Najibullah’s government should not be repeated,” Hekmatyar said. 

He welcomed the withdrawal of foreign forces, but said that the announcement had a political agenda. 

Hekmatyar said the US needs to provide clarification to the Afghan people and the Taliban about the extension of the May 1 deadline for the withdrawal of its troops. 

He asked the Taliban to announce a conditions-based ceasefire and continue negotiations with Afghans under any circumstances. 

“I have a friendly suggestion to the Taliban. If you are determined for peace or if you see yourself compelled for war, in both situations, you should not abandon negotiations.” 

He said that the Taliban are agreed on an election after a transitional government, but the Taliban has not directly agreed on an election for the transition of power. 

“I think the Taliban will also agree to go for elections. The elections that were held in Afghanistan in the past several years, I am sure that majority of Afghans oppose that approach,” said Hekmatyar. 

US PLANS: Meanwhile, the Pentagon has said that the US will likely increase the presence of its troops in Afghanistan temporarily over the coming weeks and months to fulfil President Joe Biden’s order to safely withdraw all forces from the country by September 11.

Pentagon chief spokesman John Kirby did not provide details on this but said military leaders are still working out the details.

Kirby made a common comparison to 2011 when the United States withdrew troops from Iraq and said this drawdown will be “scoped and tailored to the situation.”

“It’s a landlocked country, and there is clearly the potential for resistance here, opposition, as we begin to draw down,” Kirby said.

“It’s not out of the realm of the possibility that some temporary enabling functions may have to be introduced into the region to permit this to be as safe and as orderly as possible. That would be the right thing to do. The prudent thing to do. It would irresponsible if we weren’t thinking about that.”

The Pentagon spokesman said it was not clear how many troops would be out of the country by May 1 as a signal to the Taliban that the US was abiding by its new plan to begin leaving.


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