Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is not just any old Afghan warlord. During the Afghan civil war his men shelled the capital city of Kabul indiscriminately, killing tens of thousands of civilians. Today he fights alongside the Taliban,but the Karzai government, with some encouragement from the American administration, is sending out peace feelers. Last year the London Times reported that a representative of Richard Holbrooke, President Obama's regional envoy, had met with Hekmatyar's representative, Daoud Abedi, who is an Afghan-American businessman to discuss a peace deal.
Mr. Abedi's boss, Hekmatyar,
is listed as a "Global Terrorist" by the U.S. State Department, and is reported
to have a $25 million price on his head. He survived a U.S. Predator drone
strike in 2003. His militias stand accused of some of the worst of the
widespread murders, kidnappings, and rapes that took place during the chaos of
the civil war. Among his methods were throwing acid in women's faces for not
covering up properly and skinning prisoners alive. But that didn't stop him from
issuing a threat of legal action againstjournalists for expressing
well-documented views about Hekmatyar.
The authors contended in a blog posted last January 25 th, In Afghanistan: Embracing Gulbuddin Hekmatyar Is No Method At All,that Hekmatyar should not be allowed into the Afghan government as a reward for laying down arms. Turning warlords like Hekmatyar to the good has consistently proven to be nothing but bad for the Afghan people.
AbediemailedGould and Fitzgerald, warningthat if Hekmatyar's party, the Hesb-i-Islami ever comes to power, "I promise you, [we] will call on all these so called experts, and knowledgeable sources to come up and clean what they have written, prove it or apologize to the Afghan and international communities for misleading them, or we will not allow their feet in Afghan soil."
Gould and Fitzgerald have covered Afghanistan extensively for overthirty years, and were the first American journalistsallowed into the country after the Soviet invasion of 1979.
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Background Sources, History, and
--Gould and Fitzgerald book, "Invisible History, Afghanistan's UntoldStory,"
book website: http://www.invisiblehistory.com/
publisher's website: http://www.citylights.com/book/?GCOI=87286100741260
--UK Telegraph, "US 'holds direct talks' with Afghanistan insurgents"(Holbrooke deputy meeting with Daud Abedi)
--History Commons Profile: Daud Abedi