DECEMBER 9, 2022
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Hekmatyar Urges Taliban to Address U.S. Occupation of Afghan Airspace

Hekmatyar Urges Taliban to Address U.S. Occupation of Afghan Airspace

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leader of Hezb-e-Islami, has expressed optimism about the Taliban's governance in Afghanistan, describing it as a foundation for an "independent and robust government" in the country.

Despite this optimism, Hekmatyar highlighted concerns over the continued occupation of Afghanistan's airspace by the United States. He called upon the Taliban to take decisive action, stating that if the U.S. does not cease its control over Afghan airspace, "its embassy should be closed, and all Americans should be expelled from the country.”

The official publication of Hezb-e-Islami, Shahadat, published Hekmatyar's remarks on Monday, accompanied by images of key Taliban figures, including Hibatullah Akhundzada, Hassan Akhund, and Sirajuddin Haqqani.

Hekmatyar noted that following the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan, there was an expectation among the people for the establishment of an "Islamic system, a strong government based on popular will, and an independent country free from foreign influence.” However, he added, "It is clear from today's circumstances that we still face numerous threats and obstacles on this path."

Calling for unity among Afghans who have actively participated in wars against the U.S. and the Soviet Union, Hekmatyar appeared to advocate for cooperation with the Taliban, despite their historical reluctance to collaborate with other political groups.

He reiterated concerns about the U.S. occupation of Afghan airspace, with unmanned aircraft conducting attacks. Hekmatyar emphasized the need for the U.S. to respect Afghanistan's sovereignty and independence.

Interestingly, Hekmatyar called for the closure of the U.S. embassy and the expulsion of its staff, even though the U.S. Embassy in Kabul is currently closed and operating from Qatar.

Previously, Hekmatyar has accused the U.S. of supporting the Taliban, a claim that the Taliban has denied. The group has acknowledged its current inability to prevent U.S. drones and aircraft from entering Afghan airspace.

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