Notorious as an extremist, intriguer, and back-stabber, Hekmatyar has bedeviled Afghanistan’s politics for three decades.
Typical of misinformation in the Western press, an Associated Press article of May 30, 2008 reported, “Hekmatyar fought the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.” However, as Afghanis and many intelligence analysts are quick to point out, Hekmatyar spent most of his time during that period murdering fellow Afghani Mujahedeen rather than fighting the Soviets. In fact, Hekmatyar, who joined the Soviet-backed communist People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan in 1970, has continued to work with the Soviet KGB and its successor, the Russian FSB, throughout the past three decades. The KGB-FSB ties help explain why Hekmatyar has for so long focused his hatred and proclamations of jihad against the United States, rather than against the Soviet Union and Russia.
Asian news sources reported on May 31 that Ghairat Bahir, Hekmatyar’s son-in-law and a top spokesman for Hezb-i-Islami, had been released from prison at the U.S. Air Force base at Bagram, where he had been held for the past four years on terrorism charges. According to the
Asia Times Online
, “Immediately after his release, Ghairat Bahir was received at the presidential palace in Kabul and offered powerful ministries for the HIA if he agreed to act as a power-broker between top insurgent commanders, including Jalaluddin Haqqani and Hekmatyar, on one side and the US-backed Karzai administration on the other.