Taliban splinter group welcomes signing of peace deal by Hezb-e-Islami

A splinter group of the Taliban led by Mullah Rasool welcomed the signing of a draft peace agreement between the Afghan government and Hezb-e-Islami led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

Sources close to Hezb-e-Islami have said Mullah Rasool has endorsed the party’s stance and signing of the draft peace agreement with the Afghan government.

The sources further added that the endorsement by Mullah Rasool faction of the Taliban is based on the stance of Hezb-e-Islami to work for the withdrawal of the foreign forces from the country.

The Mullah Rasool has also called on other militant groups including the main Taliban group to adopt a similar stance as Hezb-e-Islami and work for the liberty of the country, the sources added.

The endorsement by Mullah Rasool group comes as the Taliban slammed Hekmatyar for signing of the draft peace agreement, calling his move as ‘a major crime’.

“Not only will he face the wrath of Allah for leaving jihad, but he has committed a major crime,” the group said in an article published in its website.

Hezb-e-Islami is the first militant group to sign a draft peace agreement with the Afghan government following a call made by the government to join peace process in a bid to end the ongoing violence through reconciliation process.

The Taliban group however rejected the plea and announced its spring offensive in April this year forcing the Afghan government to give up peace efforts and respond to Taliban’s insurgency with military option.

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