The Taliban, however, is presenting a united front in spite of news of internal troubles pointing out that internal conflicts should be avoided in order to prevent jeopardising their recent achievements
An internal strife has emerged within the Taliban as the Haqqani and Kandhari factions are at odds with each other over the direction of the regime and Afghanistan. The internal power struggle has led to concerns that the instability in Afghanistan could deepen further.
The Haqqani faction led by Sirajuddin Haqqani wants to remove Amir Khan Muttaqi, who is currently serving as acting foreign minister. The Haqqani faction wants Anas Haqqani, son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, a senior official in the Taliban-controlled government, to be chosen as the new foreign minister.
The Kandhari group, which was led by Mullah Mohammad Omar, deem the Haqqani faction a threat and were hesitant to appoint Anas Haqqani as the new foreign minister.
However, the Haqqani group feels that Anas’s youth and strong relationships across various departments make him a strong contender for the position of foreign minister.
The Haqqani group leader Sirajuddin Haqqani, aka Khalifa Sahib within the Taliban, also has ambitious plans for himself. The acting interior minister has set his eyes on the role of prime minister or deputy PM but wants to first take on the role of interior minister.
There are obstacles in the path of Sirajuddin Haqqani, as there are opposing forces to his plans in Kandahar. His long-time friend, Taj Mir Jawad, who served as a senior commander for the Haqqani network and is the current deputy to the General Directorate of Intelligence (GDI) of the Taliban government, is also against him, further deepening the divide within the Taliban.
Sirajuddin Haqqani has cocooned himself by taking stringent security precautions to protect himself and maintain his leadership role. He holds a significant sway within the Haqqani faction – the Taliban’s most extreme military wing – which has a large following consisting of fighters and suicide bombers.
Power is distributed in the Taliban among top leaders, currently the acting deputy minister of interior affairs is Ibrahim Sadr and acting interior minister role being given to Haqqani.
The Taliban, however, is presenting a united front in spite of news of internal troubles pointing out that internal conflicts should be avoided in order to prevent jeopardising their recent achievements.
Taliban leaders have stressed on projecting collective strength and cohesion to the outside world as it helped them take control of Afghanistan in 2021 following US withdrawal.
Beijing, which is known for its inhuman treatment of Uyghur Muslims, fears a blowback from the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM). It also fears the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as it threatens to destabilise Pakistan and hurt the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
They see the Haqqani faction as potential allies in controlling these groups.
The Americans also want to cultivate relationships with influential figures within the Taliban – some of who were formerly held at Guantanamo Bay and now are in positions of power, including within the GDI – and plan to use the United Nations and diplomatic channels in Qatar to achieve that objective.