An audio file attributed to a Taliban official, said to be Mullah Fazel, the Taliban’s Deputy Defence Minister surfaced in which he says that the Pakistani guest (referring to Pakistani intelligence chief Gen Faiz Hameed) had created a major problem for the group and prevented the formation of an inclusive government.
The audio file also mentions an armed clash between General Faiz Hameed’s bodyguards and Taliban commanders at the Kabul presidential palace.
An audio file attributed to a senior Taliban official was released in which he criticized the presence of a Punjabi guest in the country and said that he did not allow the Taliban to form an inclusive government, Raha Press reported.
In the audio file, the Taliban official told other Taliban commanders that Pakistan had tarnished the group’s reputation internationally.
The differences between Pakistan and the Taliban are likely over how the cabinet was recently introduced by the Taliban.
Pakistan has reportedly nominated Haqqani and some members of the Quetta Taliban council to join the cabinet.
The Taliban had previously announced that they would form an inclusive government, but before the group announced its new government, Pakistani intelligence chief Gen Faiz Hameed arrived in Kabul and met with some senior Taliban officials.
The Taliban announced its new interim government last Tuesday (September 7), which does not include any non-Taliban or female members on its cabinet; However, Mohammad Naeem, a Taliban spokesman, said the government was inclusive because it included representatives from different ethnic groups in Afghanistan.
Earlier reports suggested Faiz Hameed, the head of Pakista’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency had rushed to Kabul before the government formation after a clash between Baradar and Haqqani-supported groups in which Baradar sustained injuries.
The Haqqani and many other Taliban factions simply do not accept Haibatullah Akhundzada as their leader, as per Michael Rubin in 1945 website.
Whereas the Taliban had said that they would unveil their new government on September 3, the day passed without any official word of the appointment of Akhundzada whom the group’s representatives earlier signaled would be the Islamic Emirate’s supreme leader based in Kandahar, Rubin said.
That delay also postponed Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar’s efforts to become political leader in Kabul. The delay may signal a much greater crisis within the Taliban, hence Hameed’s emergency trip, he said.
Some Afghan factions seek a more inclusive government and are not enthusiastic about efforts to fight the Panjshiris. The Taliban largely conquered Afghanistan on the back of political deals rather than military victories and are unenthusiastic about the losses they now sustain in ground fighting in the Valley and its approaches. It is Hameed and the factions to which he directly dictates that want to finish off Ahmad Massoud and Amrullah Saleh, the two main leaders of the resistance, he added.
(Sanjeev Sharma can be reached at Sanjeev.firstname.lastname@example.org)