KABUL (HIA) led by Gulbadin Hekmatyar, reassuring participation in the April elections, has vowed to continue its armed resistance until foreign troops exist in Afghanistan.
The group, the second largest after the Taliban, has previously denied taking part in the upcoming presidential and provincial council elections due to the presence of foreign troops in the country.
However, HIA political wing chief, Dr. Ghairat Baheer, told Pajhwok Afghan News they had decided to participate in the elections.
He said Hekmatyar had asked HIA leaders in provinces through letters to ask their supporters to vote in the elections for candidates either related to the party or supportive of its ideology.
In a latest statement issued to Pajhwok Afghan News on Thursday, the HIA said it asked its supporters to participate in the election and prevent US-backed candidates from entering the Presidential Palace.
“We should defeat hypocrites, traitors and everyone who insists on a continued presence of foreign troops, giving military bases to the US and prolonging the war in Afghanistan,” the statement said.
The HIA asked its supporters to vote for a devoted Muslim, patriot and the most favourite candidate.
The group said though fair elections were not possible in the presence of foreign troops, yet it believed to emerge victorious over opponents on the political front as well.
The HIA said it would soon denounce its support for a particular presidential candidate, but warned its participation in the polls did not mean renouncing armed resistance.
“We assure the Afghans that there has been no change in our principal stance. We are not going to lay down arms or join the government.”