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Amid reports of fights between Baradar and Haqqani factions over power-sharing, Pakistan’s ISI chief arrives in Kabul to meet the Taliban

According to reports, gunfire broke out on Friday in Kabul over power-sharing between Baradar and Haqqani factions, and it was not celebratory firing in the air over reports that Taliban captured Panjshir

Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed, the Chief of Pakistan’s Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) arrived in Kabul today to meet the Taliban amidst the reports of ongoing heavy fighting between different factions of the Taliban over the power-sharing in the yet to be formed government.

Pakistan journalist Ghulam Abbas Shah said that Hameed is visiting Afghanistan at the invitation of the Taliban to discuss the future of the two countries.

The journalist said that the ISI chief travelled to Kabul to hold talks with the Taliban’s top leadership amidst reports of disagreement between the Abdul Ghani Baradar, the co-founder and the senior-most leader of the Taliban, and the Haqqani network leader Anas Haqqani, son of Jalaluddin Haqqani and brother of Sirajuddin Haqqani, the current head of the terrorist group and deputy chief of the Taliban.

Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is the major patron of the Haqqani Network, which is designated as a terror group by the United Nations over its close ties Al-Qaeda.

Reports suggest that the purpose of Faiz Hameed’s visit is to solve major differences among the Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Mullah Yaqoob of Quetta Shura, the eldest son of Mullah Omar and the Haqqani network.

According to Iranian journalist Tajuden Soroush, reports are coming from Kabul that a deep rift between the Taliban factions have surfaced that has delayed the formation of its government. Earlier, it was reported Mullah Baradar was expected to lead the Taliban government, however, as per reports, it has been delayed after the tensions between the Mullah Baradar group and the Haqqani network.

According to Panjashir Observer, a local news outlet from Afghanistan, gunfire broke out last night in Kabul over the power-sharing agreement between Mullah Baradar and Anas Haqqani. Apparently, the forces loyal to Anas Haqqani and Mullah Baradar fought over a disagreement. Mullah Baradar was reportedly injured in the gunfight and is receiving treatment in Pakistan.

Yesterday, there were several reports of ‘celebratory gunfire’ over the news that the Taliban has captured Panjshir. However, the reports of victory in Panjshir has been proved to be false, and now if reports are to be believed, it was actually a gunfight between different factions of the Taliban over the formation of government in Afghanistan. According to Afghan media house Tolo News, 2 people had died and several were injured in the gunfire yesterday, which indicate that it was actually a gunfight and not firing in the air.

Further, as per a News18 report, the ISI is leading hectic negotiations between Taliban leadership and the Haqqani Network over government formation in Afghanistan. The radical Islamic group plans to set up a government based on Iran’s model – an Islamic republic where the Supreme Leader is the head of state and the highest-ranking political and religious authority above the president.

Besides the rift between Mullah Baradar and the Haqqanis, it is also reported that Mullah Yaqoob is not happy with the power-sharing agreement. It is reported that Yaqoob wants to impose military elements into the new Afghan government instead of just political factors being pushed by Mullah Baradar.

The government formation may be delayed in the war-ravaged country amidst the power struggle.

Pakistan to help Taliban to revamp the Afghan army, worried about threats from Afghanistan

Earlier, there were reports that Pakistan ISI Chief Hamid Faiz was scheduled to visit Kabul for a backdoor entry into the new Taliban regime. The Pakistani establishment intends to support Afghanistan in revamping the Afghan army, which is in disarray after the Taliban’s takeover.

A top-level Pakistan official, who has access to the country’s security decisions, had revealed that the Pakistanis have decided to send security and intelligence officials to Afghanistan to help the Taliban reorganise their military. Pakistan intends to help the radical Islamic outfit to re-organise its army and may also provide necessary training to the Taliban, which is largely made up of Pashtun fighters trained in Pakistan madrasas.

It is being said that Pakistan’s worry has aggravated after the recent suicide bombing carried out by the Islamic State outside Kabul airport killed more than 100 people, including 13 US troops. Besides terror attacks, there have been gunfights across the Pakistan-Afghanistan border since last week, killing at least two Pakistani soldiers.

The Pakistan security establishment is concerned about the possibility of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, an Islamic terror group that is made of Pashtun tribesmen just as the Afghan Taliban, carrying out terror attacks in Pakistan by crossing over from Afghanistan. Over the last few years, TTP has killed several Pakistan security officials, civilians in terror attacks.

Interestingly, Pakistan, the chief backer of the Taliban, is yet to recognise the new Taliban government.

 

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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