Hezb-e-Islami stresses continuing operations amid Taliban crackdown on political parties

The Hezb-e Islami party, under the leadership of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, has vowed to continue its operations in Afghanistan despite the Taliban’s announcement that it will dismantle political parties.

A party leadership member confirmed that the Taliban’s Ministry of Justice has banned the Hezb-e Islami’s activities, yet there has been little change in the party’s overall operations.

Following its return to power, the Taliban declared all political party activities in Afghanistan invalid. Recent footage, however, reveals Hekmatyar actively participating in meetings for his party, despite the Taliban’s Ministry of Justice issuing warnings against such activities.

The ministry has threatened legal and religious consequences for those persisting in political party activities. The Taliban relocated Hekmatyar from his government-provided residence in Darul Aman to Wazir Akbar Khan. Despite the ministry’s actions to dissolve political parties, a party leadership member noted that their operations have not changed significantly.

“All our offices were moved to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s residence in Wazir Akbar Khan, with no significant impact on our work. We’ve decided to relocate to a place where the Amir Mujahid of the Hezb-e Islami of Afghanistan resides, continuing our activities with little change from before,” the member stated.

A dispute previously arose over the party’s office and Hekmatyar’s residence with the Taliban’s Ministry of Justice, as reported by sources within the Hezb-e Islami. Barakatullah Rasooli, the ministry’s spokesperson, emphasized that any political party activities are deemed illegal by the Taliban.

“The Ministry of Justice considers any activities under the name of a party in Afghanistan illegal and warns that repeat offenses will face legal and religious consequences,” Rasooli said.

Before the Taliban’s resurgence, the Ministry of Justice’s website listed at least 74 active political parties in Afghanistan. However, since the Taliban’s return to power, these parties have ceased operations within the country. Despite this, the Hezb-e Islami, led by Hekmatyar, and the Hezb-e Tahrir have continued their activities under the Taliban regime, although both were officially banned.

The Taliban has arrested dozens of Hezb-e Tahrir members across the country. “The Taliban’s ideology, rooted in religion, faith, and tribal interpretations, clashes with democratic and moral values, making it impossible for them to embrace political diversity,” said Aziz Rafie, a political analyst.

With the Taliban government lacking specific laws regarding political party activities, it remains uncertain how the Ministry of Justice intends to enforce its ban. However, the ministry has previously stated that with the guidance of the book “sent by God,” there is no need for additional laws.