World Bulletin / News Desk
This is the first time Hekmatyar has granted a private audience to a foreign media outlet since his return to the capital Kabul under a peace deal with the President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani-led government.
The landmark peace deal signed in September last year has been widely hailed by the international community.
The iconic Afghan jihadi figure returned to Kabul last month, almost 20 years after he fled the country during its brutal civil war era.
One of the first things the 69-year-old party leader did upon his return was to urge the Afghan extremists to learn from his example and walk on the path towards peace. In his speech at the Presidential Palace where Ghani had arranged a high-profile welcome ceremony for him, Hekmatyar offered the extremists that he could act as a mediator between them and the government.
The extremists, however, have so far not warmed up to the idea and in a statement released on May 15, the group rejected reports about contacts with Hezb-e-Islami.
The Hezb-e-Islami chief, who now resides at a government-sanctioned compound close to the parliament building in Kabul, said in Dari language that he had no power grabbing ambitions. He reiterated that he had no desire to challenge, strive for a change or ask for a share in the current Afghan government.
He was optimistic about prospects for a lasting peace deal in Afghanistan that would involve all sides, including the extremists.