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.

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Taliban’s Divided Faction Criticize Hibatullah’s Appointment

Criticizing the appointment of Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada as Taliban’s new leader, Mullah Mannan Niazi, spokesman for the Taliban’s breakaway faction led by Mullah Rassoul, said on Sunday that the newly appointed leader is a puppet of Pakistan – just as his predecessor, Mullah Mansour, was.

He said Mullah Rassoul’s faction wants an Islamic government in Afghanistan and that foreign troops should not stay in the country as invaders.

He said: “Hibatullah was appointed by those who appointed Mansour as Taliban’s leader. It is part of the conspiracy that has started against the Taliban in the past.”

“Those that are killed in the country are killed as a result of the fatwa issued by the unjust muftis that now claim they are leading Taliban. They are our killers and their hands are stained with our blood,” he added.

The withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan has been one of the main pre-conditions of terrorist groups in terms of joining the peace process, but this time, the breakaway faction of the Taliban brought up the issue, with a slightly different angle.

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