UN chief's envoy to Afghanistan meets Hekmatyar

Yamamoto stresses women’s rights and press freedom in meeting with former warlord in Afghan capital Kabul

UN chief's envoy to Afghanistan meets Hekmatyar

World Bulletin / News Desk

The UN Secretary-General’s special representative for Afghanistan on Tuesday expressed support for the landmark peace deal with former warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, underlining the need to respect human rights, particularly the rights of women and freedom of expression.

Tadamichi Yamamoto, who is also head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), met the former Mujaheeden leader in Afghan capital Kabul, where Hekmatyar returned to last month after a self-imposed exile of up to 20 years.

"Yamamoto highlighted that respect for human rights, including women’s rights and freedom of expression, would be essential for enhanced stability in the country," a statement by the UNAMA said.

The envoy noted that all groups in the Afghan society should enjoy equal treatment, it added.

The Mission supports Hezb-e-Islami’s peaceful reintegration into society, including, as per the agreement, through joining the civil service, the armed forces and similar, with appropriate vetting and merit-based appointments.

In a speech at a welcoming ceremony organized at the Arg (Presidential Palace) on May 4, Hekmatyar accused "some media" outlets of promoting hatred, division and violence in the country.

"We wholeheartedly respect the freedom of speech, but ‘don’t lie," said the chief of Hezb-e-Islami party known for his strong religious beliefs and fierce fighting against the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

He also commented on the way women dressed, particularly the changes observed in the country in this regard over the past decade. "This is not Paris, this is Kabul," he said.

Rights groups in Afghanistan are demanding the prosecution of Hekmatyar for his alleged "war crimes" during the 1990s civil war in the country.

The Hezb-e-Islami chief, however, has rejected the allegations, and offered his services to act as mediator for peace between the Taliban and the Kabul government.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Mayıs 2017, 16:41