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Iran Press TV

Gunmen in Pakistan kill aide of former Afghan warlord Hekmatyar

Iran Press TV

Tue May 30, 2017 5:25PM

Gunmen in northwestern Pakistan have shot dead the former secretary to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a former Afghan warlord who recently signed a peace deal with the Kabul government.

Shaid Ahmad, a local Pakistani police officer, said Mohammad Fareed was returning home from a mosque in the Taj Abad area of the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar when the gunmen opened fire on Tuesday.

"He died on the spot and the assailants made their good escape on motorcycles," media outlets quoted the officer as saying.

Hekmatyar's party, which was once considered as Afghanistan's second largest militant group after Taliban, blamed "elements against peace" for the killing. Qareeb Ur Rahman Sayeed, spokesman for the party, also confirmed Fareed was Hekmatyar's former secretary and a senior party member.

Local Pakistani media said Fareed was a relative by marriage to Hekmatyar.

No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.

Hekmatyar is the latest in a series of controversial figures that Kabul has sought to reintegrate by granting judicial immunity for past crimes.

Back in September last year and following months of negotiations between Kabul and Hekmatyar, the two sides signed a landmark peace deal, which gave him and his followers immunity for past actions and granted them full political rights.

The deal, however, sparked revulsion from human rights groups, which argue that it was too lenient toward the warlord and many of his militants.

Hekmatyar, a former anti-Soviet commander in the 1980s who waged a guerrilla war against the Soviet forces occupying Afghanistan, stands accused of leading the militancy that allegedly killed thousands of people, mostly civilians, in Kabul, during the 1992-1996 civil war.

In the wake of Taliban's reign of terror in 2001, Hekmatyar was hence forced to go into hiding. He had been blamed for maintaining ties with several militant groups including Taliban and al-Qaeda.

Afghanistan has been gripped by insecurity since the United States and its allies invaded the country as part of Washington's so-called war on terror in 2001. Many parts of the state remain plagued by militancy despite the presence of foreign troops.

During the past 16 years, the Taliban militants have been conducting terrorist attacks across the country, killing and displacing civilians.

In addition, the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, which is mainly active in Syria and Iraq, has recently managed to take recruits from Afghan Taliban defectors.



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