Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site

Top Afghan insurgents tout girls' education, not bombs

Next Previous

Page 2 of 3

About these ads

The group's leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar even touched on foreign-policy matters when he came out in support of protesters in Egypt whom he described as "trying to eradicate the reign of their corrupt and debased rulers."

Then, in a more ambitious move, the group recently declared its support for a gas pipeline planned to go from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India. When completed, the pipeline will be critical to the Afghan economy.

Days after the project was announced, Hizb-e-Islami issued a statement saying it had ordered its forces to protect it and denounced anyone trying to stop the project as "an enemy of their own nation" – voicing no threat of violence only disapproval.

The pipeline will pass through a number of areas outside the control of Hizb-e-Islami, so the announcement may be more symbolic than it is practical. But the Taliban and other groups made no public comments about the project, though because of popular support for the project, the Taliban are unlikely to attack it.

"If they do anything they will lose support and be hated by the majority of the country," says Abdul Qadir Munsef, an independent analyst in Kabul.

Hizb-e-Islami still requires some concessions to bring its members to the table with the High Peace Council, it says, including a foreign troop pullout this summer, and a number of Afghans question why the group isn't already working with the government if it's serious about joining the political process.

Next Previous

Page:   1   |   2   |   3

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.