An Afghan warlord and politician, prime minister of Afghanistan between June 1993 and June 1994, and between June and September 1996, in an uneasy alliance with President Burhanuddin Rabbani.
Hekmatyar is a Pashtun, born in Baghlun in 1947. He joined Rabbani's Jamiat-i Islami (Islamic Society) before the overthrow of the monarchy in 1973. After that he went into exile in Pakistan and formed a group of mujahideen fighters, with some Pakistani support. He split with Rabbani in 1976 and formed the Hezb-i Islami (Islamic Army).
As the Soviet-backed communist régimes in Afghanistan failed, the two movements became part of the Northern Alliance, and took Kabul in 1992, Rabbani becoming president. Hekmatyar eventually accepted the position of prime minister but fought against his allies, helping to devastate Kabul. When the Taleban movement swept across Afghanistan in 1996, Hekmatyar was once more brought into an Alliance government, but they fell within months, and he retreated to the hills.
With the anti-Taleban victories since September 2001, and the restoration of United Front (Northern Alliance) control in Kabul, Hekmatyar has been a less prominent figure, because Pakistan had previously switched support to the Taleban; other warlords have done more of the military manoeuvring. Since then it is alleged he had been cooperating with the Taleban and al-Qaida.