Butcher of Kabul' Helping Taliban Transition to Power
An Islamic Party leader known as the "Butcher of Kabul" is heading to Doha, Qatar, to meet with the Taliban delegation, along with former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the High Council for National Reconciliation.
The Coordination Council intends to negotiate a smooth transition of power from President Ashraf Ghani, who fled the country as the Taliban moved into Kabul, leaving others to determine the fate of the war-torn nation as the Afghan military refused to fight.
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's nickname came from raining down rockets on the Afghan capital in the early 1990s, according to reports.
"Atrocities were committed, but the major player or actor to these atrocities were foreign elements and foreign states that imposed a war on the Afghan people," Hekmatyar told The Telegraph U.K. in June, when he also warned the "irresponsible" U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan would leave the government without the ability to hold off the Taliban.
"It's been 43 years that we have been fighting. If we look at the casualties committed by the existence of foreign troops within Afghanistan in one month it would not match how many were killed by the infighting among the Afghans."
Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, Ghani's former No. 2 man are the two most influential non-Taliban officials left behind in Afghanistan.
Hekmatyar fought against the U.S.-backed Afghanistan government for 15 years before signing a peace treaty in 2016 and sinking into exile.
Now back, he is participating in the transition of power in the country, Karzai noted in a tweet Sunday, as translated by Google:
"Following the departure of Mr. Ashraf Ghani and the responsible officials from the country, in order to prevent chaos and reduce the suffering of the people and to better manage the affairs related to peace and peaceful transfer of the Coordinating Council consisting of the esteemed Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the Supreme Council National Reconciliation, Jihadi leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar the Emir of Hezb-e-Islami Afghanistan and former President Hamid Karzai were formed.
"The council calls on the government security forces and the security forces of the Islamic Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) to resolutely curb the chaos and incitement of irresponsible and unrelated individuals while maintaining restraint.