Signing peace deal, Afghan warlord calls for an 'end to current crisis'

Thursday, 2016-09-29 22:40:31
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Mohammad Amin Karim (R), representative of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and Afghanistan national security adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar (L) hold a document after signing a peace deal in Kabul, Afghanistan, September 22, 2016. (Credit: Reuters)
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Afghan president Ashraf Ghani formalised the controversial arrangement with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in a deal the government hopes will lead to more peace agreements.

Surrounded by hundreds of Afghan officials, many former warlords and rivals themselves, Ghani signed a pact that opens the door to the militant faction of Hezb-i-Islami, led by Hekmatyar, playing an active role in politics.

A controversial figure from the insurgency against the Soviets in the 1980s and the civil wars of the 1990s, Hekmatyar has been designated a "global terrorist" by the United States, which has been leading an international military mission in Afghanistan for the past 15 years.

As part of the deal, the Afghan government agreed to lobby international organizations to lift sanctions on Hekmatyar and Hezb-i-Islami.