Update: August 29, 2021 11:46 STI
Kabul [Afghanistan], Aug 29 (ANI): Internal power struggles fracture Taliban leadership, raising deep concerns for already bloody and war-torn Afghanistan.
Hollie McKay, in a New York Post article, said that several sources on the ground and former intelligence and military officials have confirmed the glaring divisions between the various Taliban factions who pledge allegiance to different prominent figures and country as the official transfer approaches. of power after the departure of the United States in the coming days.
“The situation on the ground is getting worse, the Taliban is increasingly divided and different factions are already holding their own meetings,” a former government source said in Kabul. “It’s obvious [the Taliban] lack of unity of command, and that makes us even more afraid of violence. “
The multitude of clans are said to have various ideas on how to deal with âemerging challenges,â including how to deal with the growing threat of ISIS, McKay said.
“There are big power disputes, and different ethnicities and tribes all want power,” the source noted. “The Helmandis, for their part, are on a big push, claiming that they have endured the most and made the most sacrifices with all of the US drone strikes over the years.”
As cracks in the power structure appear to be surfacing, sources claim that the Taliban – who historically emerged from a split from the mujahedin and are no strangers to internal power struggles – began over a period of time ago. a year.
Moreover, well-placed sources claim that it is the typically obscure Haqqani network that has previously been designated as being in charge of Kabul’s security, which plays a much larger role both politically and militarily behind the scenes on all issues. questions regarding Afghanistan.
The group – which was designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the United States in 2012, is now part of the Afghan government after the Taliban took control of the war-torn country.
Pakistani protege Khalil Haqqani, who has a bounty of $ 5 million after the United States named him a terrorist, has been appointed the new chief security officer in Afghanistan.
A prominent Afghan informant pointed out that Haqqani loyalists loaded with American weapons were believed to have moved – or immediately plan to move – directly inside the Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) in sight. of the handover, The New York Post reported. .
Another US-based intelligence source also pointed out that there had been gunfire between Taliban factions near the airport perimeter on Friday evening.
But aside from differences in terms of who exercises control and power between the Taliban and the Haqqanis, there are also emerging rifts within each of these groups, McKay said.
“Helmandis and Kandaharis challenge both groups,” said a Kabul-based source familiar with the discussions. “The Taliban tried to calm them down by appointing a lot of people to good positions.”
In June 2020, a United Nations monitoring team warned that at least one senior Taliban leader had split up to create “a new group opposed to any possible peace deal”, dragging with it a number of disgruntled members who did not want to adhere to American terms. for an agreement.
For many who have remained inside the besieged country and struggling to flee in the last window before leaving the United States, the growing cracks are yet another reason to believe their lives are in danger. Many perceive that amnesty proclamations, even if they are genuine by some of the top Taliban officials, are unlikely to be followed by divergent groups on the ground, McKay said. (ANI)