Hekmatyar disputes Zarif’s remarks on Bonn Conference

Hizb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. File photo.

KABUL, Afghanistan — Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of the Hezb-e Islami political party, has rejected claims made by Iran’s former foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, regarding Iran’s stance during the Bonn Conference on Afghanistan.

Speaking at a law faculty gathering in Iran, Zarif claimed that during the Bonn Conference, which led to the formation of an interim government headed by Hamid Karzai, the U.S. attempted to facilitate the inclusion of “good Taliban” in power. Zarif also stated that the European Union had aimed to reinstate former Afghan King Mohammad Zahir Shah, but Iran thwarted these plans.

Hekmatyar responded on X, formerly known as Twitter, asserting that Zarif’s claims were inaccurate. “The U.S. was fighting the Taliban, and there was no distinction between ‘good’ or ‘bad’ Taliban,” Hekmatyar said.

The former jihadist leader further contended that the U.S. had intended to bring back the former Afghan king as a strategy to restore the power of Reza Shah’s son in Iran. He argued that Zahir Shah was incapable of governing the country, which is why he was merely given the honorary title and position of “Babai Milat.”