Iran destabilizing Afghanistan, says Hekmatyar
The leader of one of Afghanistan’s biggest political parties has accused Iran of destabilizing the country to further its own economic interests.
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the chief of Hizb-e-Islami (The Islamic Party), who signed a peace agreement with the Afghan, said: “Iran is the only neighbor of Afghanistan which has invested for 30 years for the continuation of war in our countries.
“Tehran has achieved economic benefits from the war in Afghanistan and has succeeded in gaining access to the Afghan market. Now the Afghan market is in Iran’s hands.
“Iran’s exports to Afghanistan’s now stands at $5 billion. The official figure of the exports is $2 billion and the rest is smuggling. Now even the markets in Afghanistan’s eastern Khost and Nangarhar provinces are flooded with Iranian goods and Iranian dates are sold in Laghman and Nangarhar that border Pakistan.”
Hekmatyar commented on TAPI (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India) project as means of opening a large trade route to central Asian nations.
“TAPI is a big project and it connects Central Asian with the world via Pakistan and Afghanistan, but Iran tries to connect Central Asia via Iran. So Iran wants Pakistan and Afghanistan out of this project. This project has lots of benefits and that is why Iran creates problems and hatches conspiracies,” Hekmatyar said.
“This approach only benefits Iran, and Pakistan and Afghanistan are forced to look toward Iran. That is why Iran wants continuation of war in Afghanistan so Pakistan and Afghanistan should not get benefit of it and Iran remains the only beneficiary of this war.”
Hekmatyar also talked about the forth coming elections in Afghanistan and that his party will participate in October.