Heszb-e Islami HIG
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Currently quarrelling factions of Hezb that are politically active in Afghanistan and of HIG under a united leadership. There are three groups: 1. the registered mainstream party, led by Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal, who was economy minister under Karzai, that supported Abdullah in the 2014 election. 2. the so-called Alliance of Hezb-e Islami Councils, a loose group of party heavyweights that did not follow Arghandiwal in the elections and supported Ghani instead. 3. a smaller sub-faction led by Muhammad Khaled Faruqi, who belongs to the same tribe as Hekmatyar. Faruqi was the first leader of Hezb’s wing inside Afghanistan before it was registered in 2004 and – not fully voluntarily – replaced after a party congress in 2007 by Arghandiwal. Several attempts, including by Hekmatyar deputy Helal, have been made in the past to bring these groups together again, but so far they have failed.(20160523)
The HIG team led by Ghairat Bahir also included Qarib-ul-Rahman Sayed, Haji Abdul Malik, Muhammad Afsar Adel and Hassan Niaz who represent the political faction of the militant wing of HIG. Afghan Government negotiators the HIG team agreed that the current constitution would need to be amended to allow for an eventual political settlement between HIG and the government, although the timeline remained unspecified – i.e. whether this would have to happen during negotiations or at the end of their successful conclusion.
During their visit to Kabul, they met the Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the delegation formed by the government to discuss the proposals of the Hizb-i-Islami. Ghairat maintained they also met the second deputy Afghan president, Muhammad Karim Khalili, members of the National Security Council and new chairman of the High Peace Council, Salahuddin Rabbani, during their visit to Afghanistan.
During the visit made on the invitation of the Afghan government and High Peace Council, they met the US, British and French ambassadors to Kabul and discussed various bilateral issues with them. The committee formed by the Afghan government to meet the Hizb-i-Islami delegation comprised on Maulana Qiamuddin Kishaf, Maulvi Attaullah Lodin, Muhammad Ismail Qasimyar, member of the Wolesi Jirga, Aimaq, secretary of the High Peace Council, Masoom Stanakzai, Muhammad Farooq Wardak and Muhammad Ibrahim Zada while the Hizb-i-Islami delegation comprised on Dr Ghairat Baheer, Muhammad Afsar Adil, Haji Abdul Malik, Qaribur Rehman Saeed and Muhammad Hassan Niaz.
Ghairat Bahir a son-in-law of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is currently head of the political committee of the HIG.He used to work as a Hezb point man in Australia and the EU.
Qarib-ul-Rahman Sayed is Hezb the point man in Europe, head of the party cultural committee, spokesperson of the committee and a founder leader of the movement.
Haji Abdul Malik is from Khost, he used to work in senior military and top intelligence positions and is now a member of the political committee.
Muhammad Afsar Adel, Mohammad Afsar Adil is a member of the political committee and used to work as a liaison person with the Pakistan establishment.
Hassan Niaz from Paktia is another member of the political committee and a popular leader of the party.
There are at least four ‘wings’ of Hezb-e Islami Afghanistan, as it calls itself officially:
1 – a registered party in Afghanistan under this very name (HIA), led now by Hadi Arghandiwal, appointed Minister of Economy in late 2009;
2 -what Western actors in Afghanistan have dubbed ‘Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin (HIG), after its leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar that is an independent part of the insurgency and not part of the wider Taleban network; officially it also uses HIA as its name;
3 – a group of individuals among President Karzai’s closest advisers, in government, parliament etc who, in the past, have belonged to HIG. Many Afghans still consider themselves to be close or part of HIA/HIG, whether they actually have the party’s membership or not, which also is not known in many prominent cases.
4- Strictly speaking, there is even a fourth Hezb-e Islami (Khales). But it is separate from HIA/HIG since the late 1970s.