Hekmatyar's 'peace plan' calls for NATO withdrawal by 2011


Gulbiddin-Hekmatyar.jpg

The leader of one of the top three factions fueling the Afghan insurgency has sent a delegation to Kabul to conduct peace negotiations with President Hamid Karzai's government.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leader of a splinter faction of the Hezb-i-Islami, sent a five-man delegation "to discuss Hezb-i-Islami's agenda on how to bring durable peace to Afghanistan," Haroon Zarghoon, a spokesman for the group told The Wall Street Journal.

Hekmatyar sent Qutbuddin Helal, a former Afghan prime minister and the deputy leader of Hezb-i-Islami Gulbuddin, to conduct the talks and present the 15-point proposal for peace.

The 15-point proposal was first released on Feb. 21; the text was printed by the Frontier Post [see below for the full text]. The plan calls for a full withdrawal of NATO and allied troops by the end of 2010, a withdrawal of those forces from cities to remote bases in the interim, and a full turnover of security to the Afghan Army and police. "Foreign troops will have no rights to carry out military operations, house search and arrests on their own anywhere in Afghanistan," the statement read.

Al Qaeda and other foreign jihadist groups would not be required to leave Afghanistan until after a full NATO withdrawal. "Foreign fighters will not stay in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of foreign troops."

The HIG plan calls for the formation of a seven-man security council "with the consensus of all Afghan factions which will have the power to take final decisions on key issues." Elections would be held in March 2011.

A similar offer was made by Hekmatyar in December 2009 in a statement released for Eid.

Hekmatyar is a notorious opportunist who has ties with al Qaeda, Iran, and Pakistan's military and intelligence establishment.

Hekmatyar was a key player in the Soviet-Afghan war and led one of the biggest insurgent factions against Soviet and Afghan communist forces. But Hekmatyar's brutal battlefield tactics and wanton destruction of Kabul following the collapse of the Afghan Communist regime in the early 1990s led to the demise of his popularity. The Taliban overran his last stronghold south of Kabul in 1995 and forced him into exile in Iran from 1996-2002.

HIG forces have conducted attacks in northern and northeastern Afghanistan, and have bases in Pakistan's Swat Valley as well as in the tribal agencies of Bajaur, Mohmand, and North and South Waziristan.

Hekmatyar's forces, along with the Haqqani Network and the Quetta Shura, are the top three insurgent groups in Afghanistan. All have close ties to al Qaeda and other jihadist groups based in Pakistan and Central Asia.

In May 2006, Hekmatyar swore alliance to al Qaeda's top leader, Osama bin Laden. "We thank all Arab mujahideen, particularly Sheikh Osama Bin Laden, Dr. Ayman al Zawahiri, and other leaders who helped us in our jihad against the Russians," he said in a recording broadcast by Al Jazeera.

"They fought our enemies and made dear sacrifices," Hekmatyar continued. "Neither we nor the future generations will forget this great favor. We beseech Almighty God to grant us success and help us fulfill our duty toward them and enable us to return their favor and reciprocate their support and sacrifices. We hope to take part with them in a battle which they will lead and raise its banner. We stand beside and support them."

Despite Hekmatyar's pledge to al Qaeda, senior US generals believe that he can be weaned from the insurgency and brought into the Afghan government. Major General Michael Flynn, the top intelligence official in Afghanistan, called both Hekmatyar and Jalaluddin "Haqqani "absolutely salvageable" even if they currently support al Qaeda.

"The HIG already have members in Karzai's government, and it could evolve into a political party, even though Hekmatyar may be providing al Qaeda leaders refuge in Kunar," Flynn told The Atlantic. "Hekmatyar has reconcilable ambitions."

Sir Graeme Lamb, a senior adviser to General McChrystal, echoed Flynn's view on Hekmatyar and Haqqani, and discounted the groups' close ties to al Qaeda.

"Haqqani and Hekmatyar are pragmatists tied to the probability of outcomes," Lamb also told The Atlantic. "With all the talk of Islamic ideology, this is the land of the deal."

Full text of the Afghan peace proposal made by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar

1): Foreign troops must start withdrawal in July this year and complete the process in six months.
2): They should quit main cities and populated area and move to military bases.
3): Security issues must be completely handed over to Afghan army and the police. Foreign troops will have no rights to carry out military operations, house search and arrests on their own anywhere in Afghanistan.
4): The parliament and the incumbent government will continue to function unless new elections are held and new government is formed. But those people should not be part of the government who are controversial and accused of corruption, war crimes and who have secular ideas. And those people should not be in top military leadership who support a group against other.
5: A 7-member National Security Council will be formed with the consensus of all Afghan factions which will have the power to take final decisions on key issues. The Council's center will be in a province where security will be completely under Afghan forces and there will be no foreign troops there.
6: After the withdrawal of foreign troops, elections for the office of the President, National Assembly and provincial assemblies will be held simultaneously on proportional representation basis in (Afghan year 1390 Spring). (March 2011)
7): Cabinet members and governors can only be allowed to take part in the elections who resign three months before the polls.
8): Every party will get representation in the first elected government in accordance with their seats in the parliament and they will secure trust vote from the parliament. And the largest group will not be bound to form coalition government.
9): That Group or Alliance will have the right to take part in coming election which will secure up to 10 per cent votes in the first election.
10): During this period there will be complete ceasefire among the warring factions, all political prisoners will be freed, all sides will make commitment that they will not fight against rival faction and they will not use illegal channels to grab power.
11): The first elected parliament will have the right to review the constitution and to take a final decision about the constitution.
12): No foreign country will have the right to establish their jails in Afghanistan. They will not arrest or put on trial any Afghan national and will not take any Afghan for trial outside of the country.
13): Those accused of war crimes, drug smuggling, corruption and plundering national wealth will be tried in Islamic courts. No side will defend them covertly or overtly.
14): Foreign fighters will not stay in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of foreign troops.
15): Any internal and external elements who are opposed to this agreement and insist on fighting, we all will jointly deal with the war mongers to save our homeland from their curse.



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READER COMMENTS: "Hekmatyar's 'peace plan' calls for NATO withdrawal by 2011"

Posted by Paul at March 22, 2010 11:47 AM ET:

And what about their "foreign fighters" do they leave too?

Posted by BraddS at March 22, 2010 11:57 AM ET:

"Foreign troops will have no rights to carry out military operations, house search and arrests on their own anywhere in Afghanistan."

Well, I guess those are the three things that have been the most successful.

Posted by T Ruth at March 22, 2010 12:18 PM ET:

"Haqqani and Hekmatyar are pragmatists tied to the probability of outcomes," Lamb also told The Atlantic. "With all the talk of Islamic ideology, this is the land of the deal."

Sounds like Lamb has been promoted to his level of incompetence. I don't think he's salvageable. "This" may be the land of the deal, as are London, New York and by default, Washington DC, but more importantly he will learn that this is the land of the deal-breakers and of ass-whippers.

Is this a wolf in lamb's clothing i see before me, or a lamb in rose-tinted panties?

Posted by Jim at March 22, 2010 4:21 PM ET:

Karzai must be mad/deluded. These people cannot be negotiated with. They will chop off his head at the first opportunity.

Posted by KaneKaizer at March 22, 2010 5:49 PM ET:

The guy who killed tens of thousands of civilians in Kabul with rockets in the early 90s and the guy who began the suicide bombing campaign in Afghanistan killing scores more civilians? I sure wouldn't want to negotiate with them.

Posted by Tom Curley at March 22, 2010 8:09 PM ET:

I think the Mayor of Kabul will go for this "great deal". He should have stolen enough aid money by now. Gen. Mc Crystal must think by treating the Afghan government honestly that hi is being dealt with honestly. The only shame is that good foreign troops are being wasted supporting a useless government and the people still suffer.

Posted by My2cents at March 23, 2010 1:22 AM ET:

Note the following demands:
4): The parliament and the incumbent government will continue to function unless new elections are held and new government is formed. But those people should not be part of the government who are controversial and accused of corruption, war crimes and who have secular ideas. And those people should not be in top military leadership who support a group against other.

>> Secular ideas are to be banned and the theocrats/Taliban returned to power. Since they will probably insist on the right to determine what is controversial or secular.

5: A 7-member National Security Council will be formed with the consensus of all Afghan factions which will have the power to take final decisions on key issues. The Council's center will be in a province where security will be completely under Afghan forces and there will be no foreign troops there.

>> Assuming that point 4 applies, this will be a council of 7 radical mullah, probably all Taliban. Just as well, the requirement that the council be centered in 'a province where security will be completely under Afghan forces and there will be no foreign troops there' will require it to be in a Taliban stronghold.

7): Cabinet members and governors can only be allowed to take part in the elections who resign three months before the polls.

>> Leaving the country ungoverned for at least 3 months, except in areas controlled by the Taliban, and ripe for infiltration and takeover.

11): The first elected parliament will have the right to review the constitution and to take a final decision about the constitution.

>> This is a recipe to permit the new non-secular rulers to void the constitution and any legal protections derived from it at will, thereby returning to arbitrary rule by religious fiat.

13): Those accused of war crimes, drug smuggling, corruption and plundering national wealth will be tried in Islamic courts. No side will defend them covertly or overtly.

>> All members of the existing government can be put on trial. No defense is permitted and the mullahs / Taliban get to determine their punishment.

This is a total non-starter.

Posted by Tyler at March 23, 2010 9:29 AM ET:

T Ruth. Lt. General Sir Graeme Lamb is a veteran of Desert Storm, Bosnia, Northern Ireland. He commanded SAS. And is universally regarded as one of the major architects of Coalition cooperation with the Awakening movement. One of the better counterinsurgent minds out there and thats why he's McChrystal's aide.

Like Petraeus and McChrystal, he's earned a bit of deference on the subject of how to strategically break up and diffuse an insurgency.

Now obviously Hekmatyar's current terms are utterly unacceptable, and perhaps nothing will come of these talks. But talking to Hezb e Islami is the right move. He's a mercenary, there's hardly anybody he hasn't worked for over the decades (US against the Communists, Communists against the NA, NA against the Taliban, and full circle Taliban against the US.)

He's scum and I wouldn't trust him with a slingshot. But that fighting between the HIG and Taliban in Kunduz is a weakness within the enemy we must exploit and sending out feelers to Hekmatyar is, in and of itself, a way to do that.

Posted by hamtaro at March 23, 2010 3:18 PM ET:

Hekt is a peripheral player now, he is just cozying up to Karzai bc the talibs kicked his crews ass up north.

Posted by T Ruth at March 24, 2010 4:34 AM ET:

Tyler, i'm aware of Lambs background but this is AFPAQ (and not N Ireland, Bosnia, not even Iraq).

This is the home al Qaeda, the Taliban, HAQ, LeT, the ISI and n number of ambitious terror networks all of which have more than a mere foothold across Afghanistan and Pakistan, 2 complex and highly-conflicted failed nations. Your war (none of my comments are directed at you personally) has now outlasted the aggregate period of WW1 AND WW2 combined. With what to show for it, in the context of disrupt, disamantle, defeat AQ?

Osama bin Laden and Zawahiri have outlasted two terms of an aggressive US Presidency and Vice-Presidency.

Little wonder they are looking to do a deal. So the Generals will project what they want to project--this-is-the-land-of-the-deal-stuff--because in reality they know they have already lost. If this were really the land of the deal, the US would've long ago had a deal with its 'ally' Pakistan. But they have failed miserably to achieve that even after throwing a load, tens of billions, of dollars at them. On the contrary, Pakistan has utterly outwitted and outmaneuvered the US by a long mile and is still running little circles around her. You don't want to be left to bite the dust, so you say this is the land of the deal, now lets go home and have a jar of Guiness.

So now, you haven't been able to strike a deal with your 'friends' Pakistan in all this time and with all the levers and now you want to do a deal with the devil. Laughing stock! Gen Flynn says that Hekt and Haqqani are "absolutely salvageable"--wow and Lucy's in the Sky with Diamonds! Does he know the meaning of absolute? Or does he think its just a vodka?

So i'll wish the US and the Brits good luck in salvaging the savages! As for me, when i see flinching lambs, i will call it so.

After the deal, it will be someone else's problem to sort out the mess. History has shown that in that region it tends to spill well out of their boundaries. They know their cricket and they like to hit sixers, they are not content with a taking a run or two while you sit in your galleries enjoying the lifestyle of your choice.

So there, make no mistake, do your deals but don't be shocked out of your Generals' gallant feathered caps when the 911 bell rings again. Back to the future--GWOT II.

I hope i'm wrong--totally wrong.

Posted by Render at March 24, 2010 5:47 AM ET:

Hmmm...

Doesn't Heck's demanded exit date coincide with the exit date that President Obama announced at West Point?

SURPRISE
SURPRISE
SURPRISE,
R

Posted by Tyler at March 24, 2010 8:42 AM ET:

Render, it categorically does not. Hek says he wants everyone out by the end of this year. The current (Obama) plan is to START transitioning to Afghan authority by summer of next year, and it will likely take a couple years after that to see a complete withdrawal.

So it doesn't coincide at all.

Posted by Render at March 24, 2010 12:45 PM ET:

President Obama said, "After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home."

The transcript of the West Point surrender speech is still on line. That's 18 months after the end of November 2009.

Hek says, "the end of 2010."

Both statements equal 2011.

What catagory was that again?

President Obama still does not have a "plan" for victory. In fact it appears that the only people involved in Afghanistan that have a plan are the US Marines, some independent contractors (but not all), and the Taliban.

ALL
TOO
OBVIOUS,
R

Posted by T Ruth at March 24, 2010 9:19 PM ET:

The next most dangerous entity in the region to AQ is their landlord, the Pakistan Army (including the ISI and the LeT) that started this whole mess by giving birth to the Taliban and the LeT. And they have the Islamic Bomb. As we negotiate, we shouldn't forget these pertinent facts. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

As for the Taliban their ambitions in the near-term are more regional so they will come back to claim the State of Pakistan for sure.

Pakistan needs to be saved from itself--this is a prerequisite to World Peace.

The game plan is that the Talibs work from the ground outwards while AQ and the LeT assert themselves in vulnerable nations globally from Britain to Bombay to Bali, eventually closing in to form their Caliphate. The dots will enjoin the US too where in the last couple of years we have seen greater ambitions locally in the last couple of years.

Posted by Tyler at March 25, 2010 12:50 AM ET:

Must be comforting to be able to instantly read every news story through a 'how does this make Obama look bad' prism.

Whatever. Some people are serious and some ain't.

Posted by Graham at March 25, 2010 2:34 AM ET:

He said we would *start* to leave in July 2011 and Gates said this may take two or three years. So Gulbuddin is suggesting 2010 and Obama has designated 2012-2013.

Posted by Paul at March 25, 2010 5:05 PM ET:

Why hasn't the CIA or our military taken Gulbuddin Hekmatyar out?

Posted by Render at March 25, 2010 9:07 PM ET:

The only "news" stories I read (since 1998) are directly related to the war and to the US military. For me there is no prism beyond that until victory.

Like George W Bush before him, Barack Obama is the Commander-in-Chief therefore it would be well nigh impossible to read any story or article about the war that does not include him at some level, for good or bad. If the current Commander-in-Chief makes himself "look bad" through his own words or actions, that isn't my fault for pointing it out.

I have high praise for the current administrations escalation of the UAV strikes in Pakistan tempered by the historical knowledge that air power, no matter how precise and collateral damage free, has never and will never win a war by itself. Certainly not a multi-theater war with an artificial and altogether meaningless deadline imposed on just two of those theaters.

I have high praise for the mini-Surge into Helmand and Kandahar. But this too is tempered by the realization that the regional logistics system can only handle just so much surging for just so long and that the same speech that announced said surge also included an unrealistic exit date without one mention of the word "victory".

I have high praise for Hillary Clinton's confronting the Pakistani government with cold hard truth about where al-Q is currently located, (Had Mrs. Clinton campaigned only on that sole point and nothing else I would have voted for her), tempered by the cold hard fact that precious few people in this current administration have shown the will to win this war. As opposed to "exiting" this war sans victory, which will not "end" this war at all, only prolong it.

One can announce an end or exit from this war until one is blue in the face. If the Taliban/al-Q does not cooperate, and they most assuredly will not cooperate, (that's why they're called "The Enemy"), then the war is not over.

If you think I'm somehow comforted by our current Commander-in-Chief making him self look and sound bad then you have no clue about what my focus and level of seriousness is, at all.

=

Please do not bring me the veracity challenged SecDef Robert Gates as a voice of authority. He has openly lied so many times about so many things that it is now prudent for the most part to expect the exact opposite of anything he says publicly for the record. Our very own Baghdad Bob as it were 

=

Please do not think that Hek is living in some powerless cave without access to the wider world. He almost definitely has heard, (I understand he speaks English quite well when he wants), the West Point speech, undoubtedly he has at the very least read the translated transcript of said speech. Please do not try to convince me that the West Point speech had no bearing or influence on Hek as he prepared this most recent press release/surrender demand. As Mr. Roggio points out, this press release is similar to one Hek released in December of '09 (Eid), within just one month after the West Point speech.

Somebody somewhere deep in the bowels of the Pentagon/CENTCOM is feverishly working on, and constantly updating, an emergency evacuation plan, count on it.

BREAK GLASS
IN EMERGENCY,
R

Posted by sayed at January 30, 2011 5:01 AM ET:

Salaam Br. Sis. in Truth.

I have thoroughy analysed Mr. Hekmatyars peace plan proposition and cannot reach any coherent conclusion apart for manipulation. Furthermore, this criminal should be hanged without any mercy, due to his past criminal atrocities committed in Afghanistan. For god's sake this man murdered thousands of innocent lifes purely for his Political ambitions, position and power.
Moreover, how can the poor Afghan people forgive this criminal, May Allah put you in hell (Izaak, besamaan) and let Afghanistan and the Afghan people alone you bloody behswaad, uneducated.
On the other hand, he consistantly uses Islam for his political motives and cannot take the message of the Afghan people which they paint for him in different colours that we will not and cannot accept an uneducated, ugly, monster like you as our leader.