Hezb-e-islami Gulbuddin

The Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG. Arabic: حزب الإسلامي قلب الدين) is an Afghan islamist political party.

The original Hezb-e-Islami was founded in 1977 by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who is now the head of HIG. The other faction is headed by Mulavi Younas Khalis, who split with Hekmatyar and established his own Hezbi Islami in 1979. It is known as the Khalis faction, and its power base is in Nangarhar.

Well-financed by anti-Soviet forces through the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the HIG was "sidelined from Afghan politics" by the rise of the Taliban in the mid-1990s. It remained so until later in the 2000s (decade), when it "reemerged as an aggressive militant group, claiming responsibility for many bloody attacks against Coalition forces and the administration of President Hamid Karzai"[1] in the post-2001 war in Afghanistan. Its fighting strength is "sometimes estimated to number in the thousands".[2]

History

During the Soviet War in Afghanistan, Hekmatyar and his party operated near the Pakistani border against Soviet Communists. Areas such as Kunar, Laghman, Jalalabad, and Paktia were Hezb-e Islami's strongholds. The party is highly centralized under Hekmatyar's command and until 1994 had close relations with Pakistan, from which it received as much $600 million in U.S. aid money to fight the war with the Soviets.[3]

Despite its ample funding, it has been described as having Template:Cquote

Frustrated by the destructive warlord feuding in Afghanistan, including the Hezbi Islami shelling of Kabul in April 1992, Pakistan abandoned HIG for the Taliban in 1994. The bombardment of the capital by HIG in 1994 is reported to have "resulted in the deaths of more than 25,000 civilians."[1]

After HIG was expelled from Kabul by the Taliban in September 1996, many of its local commanders joined the Taliban, "both out of ideological sympathy and for reason of tribal solidarity."[4] In Pakistan Hezb-e-Islami training camps "were taken over by the Taliban and handed over" to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) groups such as the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP).[5]

After 2001

The Columbia World Dictionary of Islamism reports that, having lost Saudi support when it supported Saddam Hussein and Pakistani support after 1994, "the remainder of Hizb-i Islami merged into al-Qaeda and the Taliban."[4] The Jamestown Foundation describes it having been "sidelined from Afghan politics" for a decade or so after the Taliban takeover of Kabul.[1] Hekmatyar opposed the 2001 American attack on Afghanistan, and since then has aligned his group with remnants of the Taliban and al-Qaeda against the current Afghan government.[6]

Radio Free Europe reports that "in 2006, Hekmatyar appeared in a video aired on the Arabic language Al-Jazeera television station and declared he wanted his forces to fight alongside Al-Qaeda."[7] According to Le Monde newspaper, as of 2007, the group was active around Mazari Sharif and Jalalabad.[8] HIG took credit for a 2008 attack on a military parade that nearly killed Karzai, an August 2008 ambush near Kabul that left ten French soldiers dead, and an October 3, 2009 attack by 150 insurgents that overwhelmed a remote outpost in Nuristan Province, killing eight American soldiers and wounding 24.[2]

There have also been reports of clashes between members of the HIG and Taliban, and defection of HIG members to the Afghan government. Ten members of the group’s "senior leadership" met in May 2004 with President Hamid Karzai and "publicly announced their rejection of Hezb-e-Islami’s alliance with al-Qaeda and the Taliban."[6] Prior to Afghanistan's 2004 elections, 150 members of the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin party were said to have defected to Hamid Karzai's administration.[9] Jamestown Foundation reported in 2004 that, according to Deputy Speaker of Parliament Sardar Rahmanoglu, HIA members "occupy around 30 to 40 percent of government offices, from cabinet ministers to provisional and other government posts."[1] According to journalist Michael Crowley, as of 2010, HIG’s political arm holds 19 of 246 seats in the Afghan parliament and "claims not to take cues from Hekmatyar, though few believe it."[2]

In early March 2010, elements of the Taliban and the HIG were reportedly fighting in Baghlan province.

Scores of Hizb-e-Islami militants, including 11 commanders and 68 fighters, defected on Sunday [7 March 2010] and joined the Afghan government as a clash between the group and the Taliban left 79 people dead, police said.[10]

Peace negotiations 2010-present

On the celebration of Nowruz, New Year's Day, of 1389 (March 21, 2010, Western calendar) Harun Zarghun, chief spokesman for Hizb-i-Islami, said that a five-member delegation was in Kabul to meet with government officials and that there were also plans to meet with Taliban leaders somewhere in Afghanistan. Khalid Farooqi, a member of the parliament from Paktika province, confirmed that two delegations from Hizb-i-Islami had shown up. Zarghun, the group's spokesman in Pakistan, said that the delegation had a 15-point plan that called for the retreat of foreign forces in July 2010[11] – a full year ahead of President Barack Obama's intended withdrawal. The plan also called for the replacement of the current Afghan parliament in December 2010 by an interim government, or shura, which then would hold local and national elections within a year. Zarghun said that a new Afghan constitution would be written, merging the current version with ones used earlier.[12][13][14]

The same day, Afghanistan's vice-president Mohammad Qasim Fahim reached out to militants at the Nowruz New Year celebrations in Mazar-i-Sharif in Northern Afghanistan. He declared that, with their input, a coming national conference would lay the foundations for peace. He called on resistance forces to participate in a jirga, or assembly, planned for late April or early May.[15]

In late January 2012, America's special envoy to the region Marc Grossman talked peace and reconciliation with Hamid Karzai in Kabul, though the Afghan president made it clear that Afghans should be in the driver's seat;[16] hours before the meeting, Karzai said he personally held peace talks recently with the insurgent faction Hizb-i-Islami, appearing to assert his own role in a U.S.-led bid for negotiations to end the country's decade-long war.[17]

2010 Badakhshan massacre

In August 2010, Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin was possibly responsible for the 2010 Badakhshan massacre.[18][19][20][21][22]

Alleged ties to North Korea and Iran

According to a document dump in the summer of 2010, a Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin member, along with an agent of Osama Bin Laden, allegedly took a trip on November 19, 2005 to North Korea via Iran. Here is the exact text of the intelligence report:

THREAT TO AIRCRAFT IN HELMEND PROVINCE

Organization(s) Involved: HEZB E ISLAMI GULBUDDIN TEXT: On 19 November 2005, Hezb-Islami party leader, Gulbuddin Hekmartyr and Dr. Amin ((nln)), Usama Bin Laden’s financial advisor, both flew to North Korea departing from an Iran. They returned to Helmand //geocoord: 3100n/06400e//, Afghanistan on approximately 3 December 2005. While in North Korea, the two confirmed a deal with the North Korean government for remote controlled rockets for use against American and coalition aircraft. The deal was closed for an undetermined amount of money. The shipment of said weapons is expected shortly after the new year. nfi. Upon return from North Korea Dr. Amin stayed in Helmand, and Hekmartyr went to Konar, Nuristan province[23]

Although a rocket attack reported to have happened in 2007, killing all onboard and destroying the vehicle, fit the characteristics of the mentioned North Korean rocket, the report remains unverified. No such Dr. Amin has surfaced of late.[24]

Accused combatant prisoners at Guantanamo

Dozens of inmates at the United States prison at Guantanamo Bay faced allegations that they had been associated with the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin.

Originally the Bush Presidency asserted it was not obliged to let any captives apprehended in Afghanistan know why they were being held, or to provide a venue where they could challenge the allegations against them. However, the United States Supreme Court's ruling in Rasul v. Bush required the institution of a review. The Supreme Court recommended the reviews be modeled after the Army Regulation 190-8 Tribunals that were ordinarily used to determine whether captives were innocent civilians who should be released, lawful combatants entitled to Prisoner of War status, or war criminals who could be tried, and who weren't protected by all the provisions of the Geneva Conventions.

The Department of Defense set up the Office for the Administrative Review of Detained Enemy Combatants (OARDEC). OARDEC administered an initial Combatant Status Review Tribunal for the 558 Guantanamo captives who were still in the detention camp as of August 2004. Unlike the AR 190-8 Tribunals, the Combatant Status Review Tribunals were not authorized to determine whether captives were entitled to POW status, only whether they were "enemy combatants. OARDEC also administered annual Administrative Review Board hearings. The Boards were only authorized to make a recommendation as to whether captives might represent an ongoing threat, or might continue to hold intelligence value, and therefore should continue to be held in US custody.

Close to 10,000 pages of documents from the Combatant Status Review Tribunals and Administrative Review Board hearings were released after contested Freedom of Information Act requests.

Dozens of captives faced allegations that they had been associated with the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin. Some of the documents just alleged that a captive was associated with Hezb-e-Islami, without explaining why this implied they were an "enemy combatant". Other documents did provide brief explanations as how an association with Hezb-e-Islami implied a captive was an "enemy combatant". Neither Hezb-e-Islami nor Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin are on the U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations and they never have been;[25] but Gubludding is on the additional list called "Groups of Concern."[26]

  • Gulbuddin Hikmatyar founded HIG as a faction of the Hizb-Islami party in 1977, and it was one of the major Mujahadin groups in the war against the Soviets. HIG has long established ties with Usama Bin Laden. HIG has staged small attacks in its attempt to force NATO troops to withdraw from Afghanistan, overthrow the Afghan government, and establish a fundamentalist state.[31]
  • Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin was one of the major mujahedin groups in the war against the Soviets. Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin has long-established ties with Bin Laden. Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin has staged small attacks in its attempt to force U.S. troops to withdraw from Afghanistan, overthrow the Afghan Transitional Admininstration (Afghan Transitional Administration) [sic], and establish a fundamentalist state.[32]
  • The Secretary of State has identified the HIG as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Gulbuddin Hikmatyar [sic] founded HIG as a faction of the Hizb-I Islami party in 1977 and it was one of the major Mujahedin groups in the war against the Soviets. HIG has long-established ties with Usama bin Ladin. HIG has stages small attacks in its attempt to force United States troops to withdraw from Afghanistan, overthrow the Afghanistan government, and establish a fundamentalist state.[33]
  • Gulbuddin Hekmatyar founded Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin [sic] as a faction of the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin [sic] [sic] party in 1977, and that it was one of the major Mujadhedin [sic] groups in the war against the Soviets; that the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin has long established ties with Usama Bin Ladin; that Hexb-e-Islami Gulbuddin has staged small attacks in its attempt to force United States troops to withdraw from Afghanistan, overthrow the Afghanistan Transitional Administration, and establish a fundamentalist state.[34]
  • The Hizb-I Islami Gulbuddin [sic] (HIG) is a faction of the Hizb-I Islami party and was one of the major mujahedin groups in the war against the Soviets. HIG has long established ties with Bin Laden. In [sic] early 1990s, the HIG ran several terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and was pioneer in sending mercenary fighters to other Islamic conflicts. The HIG offered to shelter Bin Laden after he hfled Sudan in 1996.[35]
  • Hizb-I Islami Gulbuddin has staged small attacks in its attempt to force U.S. troops to withdraw from Afghanistan, overthrow the Afghan Transitional Administration and establish a fundamentalist state.[36][37][38]
  • HIG has long-established ties with Usama Bin Laden. HIG has staged small attacks in its attempt to force U.S. troops to withdraw from Afghanistan, overthrow the Afghan Transitional Administration and establish a fundamentalist state.

[39]

  • Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin [sic] (HIG) has been designated by the United States as a terrorist organization.[40]
  • Sharifullah
  • "Hezb-E-Islam/Gulbuddin (HIG) members recruited young and impressionable radical men from the Shamshatoo Refugee camp to train at camps focusing on advanced training including remote controlled Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and electronics.[45]"
  • "Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) has long established ties with Usama Bin Ladin. (HIG) founder Gulbuddin Hikmatyar offered to shelter Bin Ladin after the latter fled Sudan in 1996. HIG has staged small attacks in its attempt to force U.S. troops to withdraw from Afghanistan, overthrow the Afghan Transitional Administration (ATA) and establish a fundamentalist state.[46]
  • "The Armed Islamic Group (GIA) and Hizb-I Islami Gulbuddin [sic] are designated terrorist organizations. Hizb-I Islami Gulbuddin ran terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. They have staged attacks in an attempt to force U.S. troops to withdraw from Afghanistan.[47]"
  • "In the early 1990s, Hikmatyar ran several terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and was a pioneer in sending mercenary fighters to other Islamic conflicts. Hikmatyar offered to shelter Bin Laden after the latter fled Sudan in 1996.[30][48]"
  • Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) has long established ties with Usama Bin Laden. HIG was known to have several terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and was the pioneer in sending mercenary fighter [sic] to other Islamic conflicts. The founder of HIG was known to have shelteed Usama Bin Laden after he fled the Sudan. HIG has staged small attacks in its attempt to force U.S. troops to withdraw from Afghanistan.[49][50]
  • Hizb-I Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) was one of the major mujahedin groups in the war against the Soviets. HIG has long established ties with Usama bin Laden. Gulbuddin Hikmatyar founded HIG. Hikmatyar ran several terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and was a pioneer in sending mercenary fightters to other Islamic fighting conflicts. Hikmatyar offered to shelter Usama bin Laden after he later fled Sudan in 1996.[51]
  • The Hezb-E-Islami [sic] organization is a terrorist organization with long-established ties to Bin Laden.[52]
  • Faiz Ullah
  • The Hizb-I Islami Gulbuddin [sic] (HIG) has been identified as an organization which sponsor terrorism.[55]
  • HIG has been designated by the United States as a terrorist organization.[39]
  • Faiz Ullah
  • Hezb-E-Islami Gulbuddin is a known terrorist organization that has long established ties to al Qaida.[60]
  • The HIG is an active terrorist organization in Afghanistan with long established ties to Usama Bin Laden.[61]

References

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