Fri, Dec 9, 2016 | updated 03:11 PM IST

Afghan Govt. to ask UN to lift sanctions against 'butcher of Kabul' Hekmatyar

Updated: Nov 16, 2016 11:06 IST

Kabul [Afghanistan], Nov. 16 (ANI): The Afghan Government will send a letter to the United Nations to officially ask the top body to lift sanctions against Hizb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar as part of one of the promises made by President Ashraf Ghani while signing a draft peace agreement with the armed group.

National Security Council (NSC) spokesman Tawab Ghorzang said on Tuesday that they hope the United Nations will help Kabul in this respect, reports the Tolo News.

"It was decided that government will send a letter to the United Nations Security Council in order to lift the sanctions. As well as, the UN has vowed to assess the demand of the Afghan government in the letter," he said.

Meanwhile, the chairman of Hizb-e-Islami's negotiation delegation, Amin Karim, criticized the government over what he called snail-paced progress around the implementation of the peace agreement.

"The Afghan government should send a formal letter to the UN and other relevant countries in order to remove the sanctions [against Hekmatyar]," he stated.

Regarding the Hizb-e-Islami's will to announce a permanent truce and eliminate its military formations, Karim said: "We have implemented all our promises and we are ready to fulfill them. For instance, we have done a countrywide ceasefire and are cooperating in security with government."

Meanwhile, a number of lawmakers said they hope the UN will cooperate in lifting its sanctions against Hekmatyar. They also called on the Hizb-e-Islami to implement the peace deal it has signed.

"The removal of the Hizb-e-Islami leader's name from the sanction list will be the next step taken by government, but we have not witnessed its impact on the political situation, security and peace in the country," said Sadiqi Nilizada, an MP from Daikundi.

"Afghan government will implement its promises, but it is time for Hizb-e-Islami to show its willingness in this respect and implement the agreement," said Asif Sediqqi, a member of Meshrano Jirga (Upper House of Parliament).

This comes after a UN delegation met with President Ghani on Sunday, where they discussed the removal of sanctions against Hekmatyar.

During the meeting, the UN delegation said they will cooperate with the Afghan Government in the peace process as well as in helping to control the banking system of money through which terrorists are financed.

Once branded the "butcher of Kabul", Hekmatyar was a prominent anti-Soviet commander in the 1980s. He is accused of killing thousands of people when his fighters fired on civilian areas of the capital city during the 1992-1996 civil war.

Human Right Watch, the New York-based watchdog, branded Hekmatyar "one of Afghanistan's most notorious war crimes suspects".

The 25-point peace agreement between the Afghan Government and the terror group gives Hekmatyar and his followers' immunity for past actions and grants them full political rights. (ANI)