One of the most famous military commanders of Afghanistan, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar returned to Afghanistan's capital city Kabul after nearly two decades in exile, reports the Afghan news Agency.
The return of Hekmatyar, the former Prime Minister, occurred in 8 months after the government signed a peace agreement with representatives of Hezb-I-Islami rebel group led by warlord. Escort Hekmatyar from luxury SUVs and heavily armed men drove nearly 200 km from Nangarhar province to Kabul on Thursday.
Dozens of Kabul residents gathered on the streets when he arrived, chanting: "long live the Hekmatyar". He then met with President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani. It is expected that he will speak at a mass rally on Friday at a stadium in Kabul Ghazi, the Agency said.
Hekmatyar's arrival follows the signing of a peace agreement that granted him immunity in respect of acts committed in time of war, and the removal of his name and Hezb-I-Islami from the black list of terrorists. In turn, Hezb-I-Islami will renounce his ties with extremist groups. Afghan and American officials welcomed the peace agreement, which, according to the U.S. Embassy, was "a step in bringing the conflict in Afghanistan to a peaceful conclusion".
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar - one of the most famous and frightened generals in the bloody history of Afghanistan. As commander of the Mujahideen in the 1980-ies, he received about $600 million, as Washington was arming the Afghan fighters who fought against the Soviet occupation. After a brief tenure as Prime Minister in the post-Communist government of Afghanistan in the 1990's, Hekmatyar was one of several former Mujahideen commanders, directly responsible for the destruction of much of the Afghan capital in a brutal struggle for power over Kabul.
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