Taliban co-founder addresses rumored rift with Haqqani Network leader

September 18, 2021

Taliban co-founder addresses rumors

According to reports, Taliban fighters are divided, and the tension reached a peak in the presidential palace last week when two fractions were caught in an epic brawl. Taliban co-founder addresses rumored rift with Haqqani Network leader

The two sides are reportedly fighting over who deserves the most credit for defeating U.S. forces in a war that lasted close to 20 years.

Taliban leaders fight for credit over U.S. withdrawal

Taliban’s deputy prime minister, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, and Khalil ur-Rahman Haqqani, a senior leader of the Haqqani Network, are the faces of thegroups battling out.

While it is reported that the two men exchanged words, their followers reportedly took things a bit further, and a brawl ensued in the palace.

Behind this disagreement, a battle for the future of Afghanistan might be shaping up. Baradar believes that diplomacy involving Qatar played a crucial role in the withdrawal of American troops.

However, for Haqqani, Taliban forces prevailed because they were relentless on the battlefield. As the Taliban leaders seek to project a more stable and modern version of themselves, reports about infighting can only be seen in a negative light.

Taliban fighters slam rumors of infighting

They rushed to dismiss those allegations and insist that Baradar, who has not been seen in public recently, is alive after some sources claimed that he was killed. An audio clip was even released to make the case that the deputy prime minister is fine, but its authenticity could not be verified.

In a video released on the Twitter page of the Taliban’s political office Wednesday, he addresses the rumors and his recent absence from important public events like the visit of Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-

Thani to Kabul on Sunday.

Baradar was interviewed on Afghan national TV, and he said that he is fit and rumors of disagreements between the different leaders are just a media creation.

Baradar says the groups are fine

The Taliban claimed that the different groups get along fine and that he was not able to refute the rumors because he was traveling outside of Kabul for a few days and did not have access to the media to address the claims.

As for the meeting with Qatar’s Foreign Minister, Baradar says he was not aware of it beforehand and therefore he could make appropriate plans.

According to sources, the Taliban co-founder was in Kandahar to meet with Haibatullah Akhundzada, the supreme leader of the organization.

When Taliban fighters took over Afghanistan, Baradar was expected to become prime minister after playing a huge part in the Doha negotiations with the former government led by Ashraf Ghani and the United States. However, he was only named deputy prime minister after a lengthy process.

Will this change anything for Biden?

The tension between the Taliban fighters comes at a time when

the Biden administration is trying to evaluate the organization’s potential as a partner.

While countries like China have not wasted time to give the new Aghan authority some much-needed legitimacy, the U.S. is taking a more cautious approach.

The withdrawal was not well received by American allies, and polls have shown that Biden has seen his numbers decline in a significant way.

Republicans, who previously supported Biden’s predecessor, President Donald Trump‘s withdrawal agreement with the Taliban forces, are now blasting him formishandling the crisis.

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