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Afghan warlord hails Iraq uprising
April 15, 2004 16:18 IST
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, former prime minister of Afghanistan and chief of the Hezb-i-Islami, a man who is on the US terrorist list, has welcomed the uprising in Iraq by supporters of Shia cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr, report agencies.
In a statement written in Pushto, Hekmatyar said this would form the basis for forging unity between the Sunni and Shia sects.
"We welcome the uprising from Moqtadar Al-Sadr and his supporters and consider it a disclosure," he said in the typewritten statement faxed to newspapers in Peshawar, Pakistan. "It will absolve the Shias from siding with the invading forces of crusaders in Afghanistan and Iraq."
Asserting that the uprising would liberate Iraqis, he hoped that it would spark a similar uprising in Afghanistan.
Hekmatyar said it was surprising to see that the Iraqis have taken the lead in their resolve to expel invaders from their soil. "Afghans will soon be following the path chosen by the Iraqis. No one believed that Iraqis will take the lead," he said.
Hekmatyar reportedly also released an audiocassette to various newspapers, in which he said, "We had made it clear that the first days of capture for the invaders would be a honeymoon, but after that they will only hear bad news and see bad days."
The warlord also accused the coalition forces of using chemical weapons and destroying homes, mosques and entire villages in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
But the US and Britain's attempts to form local militias would not help, he said, because "these people who have been purchased through money and money cannot work against ideology".
More reports from Afghanistan
Read about: America's War on Terror