German public TV channel ZDF has interviewed Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Snippets of the interview were broadcast yesterday in their heute-journal, and can be viewed here. It is unclear when they will broadcast more.
Hekmatyar said some obvious things that are to be expected. Like: “It is a reality that America has lost the war, it can only withdraw now.” He also justifies martyrdom operations against the foreign occupiers, including the Germans (he was talking to Germans or people working for Germans, after all).
But the militant leader also said a few noteworthy things, according to the ZDF press release. Hezb-e-Islami, he insisted, has no connection “or treaty” with the Taliban or Al-Qaeda. Hekmatyar then thanks the Arab fighters for their support in the war — and asks them to go fight elsewhere now.
“Wir brauchen keine auswärtigen Kämpfer und haben das Recht, selbst zu bestimmen, wie dieser Krieg gekämpft wird. Wir empfehlen ihnen, abzuziehen und in Palästina oder Irak weiterzukämpfen.”
Translation: “We don’t need foreign fighters and have the right to determine on our own how this war is fought. We recommend they withdraw [from Afghanistan] and continue their fight in Palestine or Iraq.”
Interesting. Could this be the reason for taking the risk of an interview in the first place? Is the old rascal perhaps even attempting to pave the way for a deal by trying to put some clear blue water between Hezb-e-Islami and al-Qaeda? — Okay ZDF, we’re waiting for your interview featuring Bin Laden’s response now.
(h/t Thomas Wiegold)