Aghan president Ashraf Ghani has formalised a controversial pact with one of the country’s most notorious warlords. The accord paves the way for the militant faction of Hezb-i-Islami to play an active role in national politics.
Leader of the group Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has been labelled a “global terrorist” by the United States.
Its hoped the deal will lead to further peace agreements.
“Now is the time for the Taliban and other groups to decide whether they want to continue the war, or participate in peace talks,” said Ghani.
Signing from an undisclosed location, Hekmaktyar added:
“Continuing the war is not for the benefit of the Afghans, but it is for the benefit of internal and external enemies of the country.”
Ghani and his administration had to agree to lobby international organisations to lift embargos on Hekmatyar and Hezb-i-Islami.
Following the formalisation of the accord, a US official told Reuters Washington would “seriously consider any sanctions de-listing request put forward by the government of Afghanistan.”