Hekmatyar criticizes Doha meeting as rehash of ‘failed’ Bonn Conference

The venue of the second Doha meeting on Afghanistan in Feb. 2024.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of the Hezb-e Islami party, has termed the upcoming Doha meeting as a repeat of the “failed experience” of the Bonn conference.

The UN-hosted event, set for June 30, will bring together special envoys from various countries to discuss a collective approach to Afghanistan’s ongoing crisis.

Hekmatyar, in a recent post on X, criticized the Doha meeting for its lack of inclusivity.

“The third Doha meeting is a repeat of the failed Bonn experience, with the aim of selecting another figure like Benon Sevan or Lakhdar Brahimi, someone favored by the United States. Everyone agrees that the Afghan crisis cannot be resolved without establishing an inclusive government,” he wrote.

Gofteman Sulh, a think tank organization, also expressed concerns, urging the UN to avoid giving undue leverage to the Taliban.

“Any international efforts without a specific agenda and the presence of real representatives of the people of Afghanistan, especially women, as well as an authority-holding Taliban delegation, will fail and will increase doubts about these meetings,” said Khudayar Naibzada, head of public relations at Gofteman Sulh.

Taliban has stated that its participation in the Doha meeting is conditional on its stance being accepted.

Sources indicate that one of the Taliban’s preconditions is to solely represent Afghanistan at the meeting.

Despite these tensions, the agenda for the Doha meeting remains unclear.

Taliban has expressed optimism that topics such as counter-narcotics, the private sector, and climate change will be discussed.

Human rights advocates meanwhile urged the meeting to address fundamental needs.

“They should not only accept the Taliban’s conditions and provide them with the opportunity to negotiate. Afghan women also need the chance to be heard. A special place should be considered for both sides so that women can be present and defend their rights,” said Rodaba Frotan, a human rights defender, said,

The Doha meeting is expected to be attended by envoys from 25 countries.