>> A clean slate for an ex-Afghan Prime Minister turned war lord. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has been on Washington's terrorist list since 2003. Now, his Hezb-e Islami militant group has signed a peace deal with Kabul, giving Hekmatyar amnesty for past offenses in exchange for laying down his weapons and coming out of hiding.
The government is calling it a step in the right direction.>> I'm fully confident and hopeful that this agreement will be the start of permanent peace and stability in Afghanistan. On this I congratulate the people of the country.>> But critics are up in arms over the news, saying it could bring one of Afghanistan's most controversial figures back into politics.
Hekmatyar is accused of killing or wounding thousands when his troops fired on civilian areas of Cobble during the civil wars of the 1990s. He's been holed up in the mountains for years, his influence diminishing as the Taliban rises. Analysists say the Peace Accord is largely symbolic because Hezb-e Islami plays only a minor role in Afghanistan today, but that it may encourage some Taliban leaders to follow suit.