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Islamic Party of Afghanistan

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The Islamic Party of Afghanistan, known as Hezb-e-Islami, Hizb-i-Islami or Hizb-e-Islami, formed in 1975, and was a resistance group against the Soviets in the Afghanistan War (1978-1992). The party is Islamist but not Salafist, willing to work outside religious structures. [1]

In 1978-79, it broke into two factions. One, Hezb-e-Islami Khalis, loyal to Yunis Khalis took away away support in Nangarhar Province and among the non-Syed mullahs on the southern and eastern borders. Khales' departure put Gulbuddin Hekmatyar‎ in charge of what became the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin; a former prime minister and politician who frequently changed alliances. After the 2001 invasion, Hekmatyar associated it with the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Today, there are three claimants to the name:

With support from Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence, he became emerged as the undisputed head of Hezb-e-Islami after 1987 and by 1989 was allowed to overcome his rivals, and was Prime Minister between 1992 and 1996. Pakistan, however, dropped their support.

150 of its leaders, in October 2004, rejected Hekmatyar and supported for Karzai a month before the election. This group registered with the Ministry of Justice with the same name, as Hekmatyar's faction, Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan (Islamic Party of Afghanistan - HIA).[2]

In May 2005, party leaders met with President Hamid Karzai and renounced that association, calling their faction the Hezb-e-Islami “Decision Making Council,” distinguishing it from " Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin." The new faction was led by Mohammed Khalid Faruqi, and ten other activists with fighting records, and claimed have the support of some 90 percent of Hezb-e-Islami membership. [3] Theh Jamestown Foundation saw them as third-tier leadership figures, linked to Nangarhar Province, where the Kabul government has more influence than on the borders. None were known to be close to Hekmatyar. They are, however, Pashtuns that form the core Taliban constituency.

The new faction had several members who, while breaking with Hekmatyar, did not go to the Kabul meeting. They include Homayun Jarir and Abdul Sardar Farid, who are thought to be in Pakistan. Hekmatyar's second-level deputies, Qotboddin Helal and Dr. Ghayrat Bahir, also are in Pakistan, but they also may be splitting.

Still affiliated with Hekmatyar are Kashmir Khan, Haji Eshanollah, Abdul Salam Hashemi, Engineer Obaidollah, and Munshi Abdul Majid.

In 2006, Hezb-e-Islami held 34 seats in the Afghan assembly, and claim to have broken with Hekmatyar. [4]

References

  1. Olivier Roy (1994), The failure of political Islam, I.B.Tauris, ISBN 1850438803,, p. 46
  2. Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin (HIG), Institute for the Study of War, April 21, 2009
  3. David C. Isby (May 19, 2005), "Trojan Horse or Genuine Schism? The Hezb-e-Islami Split", Terrorism Monitor, Jamestown Foundation
  4. Wahidullah Amani (April 6, 2006), Hezb-e-Islami of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has 34 members in the lower house of parliament, vol. ARR No. 210, Institute for War & Peace Reporting