Gulbuddin Hekmatyar

October 2008
Biographies for International Security;10/1/2008, p1
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was a major player in the Afghan insurgency during the 1980s, when his Hezb-i-Islami (Islamic Party) was one of the biggest recipients of aid from Pakistan, the United States, and Saudi Arabia in the fight against Kabul's left-wing government and the Soviet Red Army. After the fall of the Afghan government in 1992, Hekmatyar competed fiercely for power in Kabul, losing out to the Taliban. He spent five years, 1997-2002, in Iranian exile, then returned and revived HIB as a major anti-NATO guerrilla force in an alliance with Taliban. As a result Hekmatyar was officially named as a terrorist by the State Department in 2002. Because he is regarded as an influential military leader who is separate from the Taliban, the government in Kabul has entertained the possibility of an alliance with Hekmatyar, whose party remains highly influential in the government.


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