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Factional fighting hits Taliban govt, differences are over Pakistan

The factional fighting is evident between the Taliban's Kandahari section headed by Mullah Mohammed Yaqoob Omari and the Kabul faction headed by Sirajuddin Haqqani. The Kandahari faction wants no interference from Pakistani ISI. However, the ISI is orchestrating power play in Kabul through Haqqanis.
The terrorist and his handler: This combination photo shows Sirajuddin Haqqani (left) and Pakistan ISI chief Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed (right). Haqqani is the interior minister of Afghanistan who has a $10 million bounty on his head.
Published on Sep 21, 2021 01:11 PM IST
By Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

More than a month after the Taliban militarily occupied Afghanistan, there is factional fighting evident between the Kandahari section headed by Mullah Mohammed Yaqoob Omari and the Kabul faction headed by Sirajuddin Haqqani, head of eponymous global terror network with Emir-ul-Momeen or supreme leader Haibatullah Akhundzada nowhere in picture and presumed dead.

While reports from western media indicate that Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has been kidnapped by the Haqqani faction, Kabul watchers confirm that the man who negotiated the peace process with US is sulking in Kandahar. The Kandahari faction headed by defence minister Mullah Yaqoob wants no interference from Pakistani ISI, which is coveting Afghanistan as Pakistan occupied territory. Mullah Baradar on his part wants that all commitments made to the US with Qatar, UK and Pakistan acting as brokers should be honoured and an inclusive government with representation from minorities and women should be formed in Kabul.

However, the situation in Afghan capital is totally different with ISI orchestrating the power play in Kabul through the Haqqani family terror company. As Zadran tribe, which is dominant in Haqqani network, has control over Kabul-Jalalabad axis up to Khyber border, the Haqqani brothers are running the show with no less than 6,000 heavily armed cadre on streets of Kabul. Prodded by the Pakistani deep state, the Haqqanis do not want to share power with other communities and see no role for women in the government.

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Fact is that while ultra conservative counties like Saudi Arabia are allowing more freedom to women, the Taliban under instructions from both Pakistan and Turkey are taking the country into medieval times based on twisted Islamic ideologies of the past millennium.

The problem has got more complicated in Afghanistan as the supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada is nowhere to be seen for the past five months. While Akhundzada could have played a major role in reconciling the differences between Kandaharis and Kabul-ites over power sharing, intelligence agencies are saying that the supreme leader may have been killed. He was last seen in Karachi Army cantonment more than five months ago by intelligence agencies.

While countries like UK and Germany want to warm up to Pakistan to gain access to Taliban by supplying them humanitarian aid, France and other members of EU are in no mood to cultivate Islamabad for the same. The EU apart from Germany is most upset with Pakistan for foisting a terror government in Kabul, and will not engage the Taliban till a inclusive government with women representation is formed.

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