Future of HIA in limbo as its internal discords continue unabated

Wednesday, 15 November 2017 03:23 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 43 times

Internal disagreements within Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) party continue unabated even after the return of its leader, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, which, according to some analysts, threatens its political survival.

 

They believe that privileges, individual interests and a strong sense of egotism among members of the party are the source of the disagreements. 

After Gulbuddin Hekmatyar joined the peace process, it was expected that the HIA’s splinter group led by Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal which operated for the last 15 years, and the Hekmatyar-led group would join up and become a united political party. 

However, Arghandiwal now stresses that there is only one political party named Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan which he has officially registered with the government, and that he is its leader, and they have not yet reached an agreement to merge with the Hekmatyar-led faction. 

Without providing details, he said he was at loggerheads with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar over a number of issues, and talks were still ongoing to resolve them. 

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) also says that HIA has been registered with them under the leadership of Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal. 

Nawab Amirzai, a political expert, said if the rifts between the two continued, it would be the political demise of the once the most strong political party in Afghanistan.  From the one hand, HIA had strong rivals such as Jamiat-e-Islami that was trying to weaken it, but on the other hand, if the internal rifts continued, it would put a lot of negative impact on the popularity and role of the party. 

Talking to The Heart of Asia, he said: “If we even consider Arghandiwal, Wahidullah Sabawoon or other opposing members of HIA as individuals, their disagreement with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar will have negatively affect HIA’s role and name.” 

Nonetheless, a member of HIA who wished anonymity, told The Heart of Asia that all members of the group who worked under Arghandiwal’s leadership have now joined the Hekmatyar-led HIA. 

According to the source, Arghandiwal has formed some alliances with some circles in Hekmatyar’s absence, so that was why he was a bit reluctant to whether or not to join with Hekmatyar. 

However, Hizb-i-Islami Afghanistan refused to officially comment on the issue. 

Intizar Khadem, another political expert, said the internal disagreements in HIA showed there was a desire to get privileges, and that such discords could undermine the faction’s credibility. 

Not only of HIA, but the internal procedures of all political parties currently active in Afghanistan had flaws, which led to disagreements, and sometimes the disintegration of major political parties. 

“Legally, the government should oversee the internal policies of HIA as well as of other political factions, and work to keep them united when they face problems. But unfortunately, political parties exist only in name because of the weakness of government, and absence of a proper system to monitor their activities,” he told The Heart of Asia. 

Currently, there are reportedly over 68 political parties registered with the Ministry of Justice, most of whom either exist only on papers, or are considered as personal properties of a few individuals.