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SLUG: 0-10457 Editorial - Hekmatyar Disignated a Terrorist







Anncr: Next, an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government:

Voice: The United States has designated Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar [gull-boo-DEEN hehk-mah-T-YAHR] a "global terrorist." The designation is based on evidence that Hekmatyar has participated in and supported terrorist attacks committed by Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network and the former Taleban rulers of Afghanistan. And on February 20th, at the request of the U.S., the sanctions committee set up under United Nations Security Council resolution twelve-sixty-seven added Hekmatyar to its list of entities or individuals associated with Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida, or the Taleban. This will obligate all U-N member states to impose sanctions on Hekmatyar, including a freeze on his assets.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is the longtime head of the extremist Muslim Hezb-e-Islami [hiz-BEH is-lah-MEE] faction in Afghanistan. This was one of several groups that fought against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s. After the Soviets were driven out, Hekmatyar's faction fought with other Afghan groups for control of the country. His forces were responsible for much of the shelling that devastated large areas of Kabul, the capital, and killed many Afghan civilians. Hezb-e-Islami committed numerous other human rights violations during the Afghan civil war.

In 1996, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar served briefly as Afghanistan's prime minister. But the Taleban took power after he had been in office only two months. He took refuge in Iran. Hekmatyar was expelled from Iran last year after he announced his support for the Taleban and condemned the U.S.-led action to liberate Afghanistan. Later, Hekmatyar declared what he called a "holy war" against the U.S.-led coalition and the new Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai.

In recent months, Hekmatyar is believed to have joined with remnants of Taleban and al-Qaida forces to prepare for terrorist attacks in Afghanistan launched from Afghanistan's southern border with Pakistan.

As President George W. Bush has made clear since the September 11th, 2001, attacks on America, the U.S. will not rest until the terrorists and their supporters are tracked down and brought to justice. This means not only Osama bin Laden, but also such accomplices as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. "Our nation is patient and steadfast," said President Bush. "We continue to pursue the terrorists in cities and camps and caves across the earth. . . . We will not relent until justice is done and our nation is secure. What our enemies have begun, we will finish."

Anncr: That was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government. If you have a comment, please write to Editorials, V-O-A, Washington, D-C, 20237, U-S-A. You may also comment at www-dot-voanews-dot-com-slash-editorials, or fax us at (202) 619-1043.

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