Haqqani network cadres control Kabul, Mullah Yaqoob in Kandahar

Published on Aug 19, 2021 10:04 AM IST

The Taliban cadres visited closed Indian consulates in Kandahar and Herat, searched for papers and left with parked vehicles.

Taliban showcasing seized weapons from fleeing Afghan and allied forces.
Taliban showcasing seized weapons from fleeing Afghan and allied forces.
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Taliban Islamist cadre visited closed Indian consulates in Kandahar and Herat, searched almirahs in Kandahar for papers and took away parked vehicles from both the embassies even as door-to-door searches are being conducted in Kabul to identify Afghans who worked for NDS intelligence agency. Reports on Indian consulate in Jalalabad and mission in Kabul are not available.

Watch: Taliban flaunt weapons, dollars after US, IMF freeze funds amidst Afghan turmoil


According to reports reaching from Kabul indicate that nearly 6,000 cadre of Haqqani Network have taken control of the capital city led by Anas Haqqani, brother of Sirajuddin Haqqani, head of terrorist group and deputy leader of the Taliban. While Anas Haqqani met former president Hamid Karzai, Chairman HCNR Abdullah Abdullah and Hezb-e-Islami veteran Gulbuddin Hetkmatyar, it is understood that the movements of both Karzai and Abdullah are restricted and controlled by the Taliban. Negotiations are on to ensure to get both Karzai and Abdullah to stage a formal handing over power to the Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Barader in the Presidential Palace. Sirajuddin Haqqani is said to be passing instructions from Quetta.

People gathered outside Kabul airport react to gunfire.(Reuters Photo)
People gathered outside Kabul airport react to gunfire.(Reuters Photo)

While Haqqani network cadre are largely controlling Kabul, the Taliban faction headed by Mullah Yaqoob, son of late Mullah Omar and head of Taliban military commission, is planning the take over of power and government from Kandahar, the traditional seat of Pashtuns. Mullah Barader met Mullah Yaqoob after he arrived from Doha on August 18. It was here in Kandahar that Mullah Yaqoob’s father was declared Emir ul Momeen on April 4, 1996. The religious head of Taliban, Mullah Haibatullah Akundzada, is still based in Karachi in Pakistan.

Although negotiations are on within the Taliban leadership on the formation of government at Kabul, the Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a fellow Deobandi terrorist group, is apparently demanding a stake in the Afghan pie with jagirs or land in south Afghanistan. With the ascent of Taliban in Kabul, there is celebration both within the JeM as well as their handlers in Rawalpindi as troves of cash and top of the line US weapons and military vehicles have been seized by the new invaders.

While India and its close allies are in a wait and watch mode, the Taliban are getting support from Britain whose Chief of Defence Staff General Nick Carter is openly lobbying for the Sunni Pashtun group to be given a chance at Kabul. It was Carter along with Pakistan Army who were instrumental in cutting out a botched up deal for the US with the Taliban through special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

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