HIGHLIGHTS:

  • A power tussle within the Taliban has poorly affected deputy prime minister Mullah Baradar and their spiritual leader Haibatullah Akhundzada
  • The conflicts in early September witnessed “furniture as well as large thermos flasks full of hot green thrown around”, mentioned a publication
  • Baradar and those associated in Doha talks were in an effort to project a moderate image of the Taliban

A power tussle within the Taliban has poorly affected two key faces of the group namely, deputy prime minister Mullah Baradar and their spiritual leader Haibatullah Akhundzada, according to reports. It is noted that in a recent war of words during the government formation discussions between Baradar faction and the Haqqani network, the former emerged as the “principal loser”.

As per reports, the chief of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) also backed the Haqqani’s, assuring that all of the key position went to Pakistani loyalists, principally from the hardline Haqqani network. The Taliban and the Haqqani group merged in 2016. The conflicts in early September witnessed “furniture as well as large thermos flasks full of hot green thrown around”, mentioned a publication.

It further narrated that at one point during the meeting, Khalil-ul-Rahman Haqqani, the leader of Haqqani network, began punching Baradar. Baradar suggested an “inclusive” cabinet which would involve non-Taliban leaders and ethnic minorities, in an attempt to make it more acceptable to the world.

Following the clashes, he disappeared for a while and emerged in Kandahar. He chaired a meeting of tribal leaders who are supporting him. However, he was also forced to deliver a video message on a TV network controlled by the Taliban. The publication described the message “looked like a hostage message”.

Referring to Haibatullah Akhundzada, the publication wrote that his whereabouts are not known stating, “He has not been seen or heard from for some time, and there are many rumours that he is dead.” The vacancy at the top positions evolved arguments between the Taliban factions, which did not take place in their earlier rule.

Baradar and those associated in Doha talks were in an effort to project a moderate image of the Taliban, but on the other hand, Haqqani’s have appreciated suicide attacks. The Haqqani’s are deeply rooted into Pakistan’s security apparatus and take their name from the Darul Uloom Haqqania madrassa located near Islamabad.

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