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Taliban’s U-Turn; Raziq was the Target of Kandahar Attack or Miller?

The question is that why the group changed its stance after 6 days, saying the target was General Miller. What factor is behind the issue?

Hours after shooting in Kandahar governor’s compound which led to the death of former Kandahar police chief Gen. Abdul Raziq on Oct.18, Taliban group confirmed the target was Gen. Raziq, and the attack was carried out by their agent called Abu Dajana. Now, with a U-turn, the group claimed the target was general Scott Miller, the top NATO and US commander in Afghanistan.
Zabihullah Mujahid, who introduces himself as Taliban spokesman claimed the attack was conducted by them and general Raziq was the target.

One day later, the Taliban published a video on social networks, in which a person is practicing military actions, saying Jihad is obligatory on every Muslim.
The Taliban group introduces this person as their assailant that assassinated Raziq and officially confirmed the target was general Raziq.
“I was not the target in Kandahar attack,” said Miller at a press conference in Kabul.
Although views posed that general Raziq was assassinated by American forces and speculations roughly confirm this issue, the Taliban insisted they were behind the attack.

Then, the Afghan government also officially attributed the attack to the Taliban group and considered Gen. Raziq as the target.
Now, the situation has changed somewhat. Qari Yusuf Ahmadi, another spokesman for the Taliban group confirmed to AP that General Miller was the target.
The question is that why the group changed its stance after 6 days, saying the target was General Miller. What factor is behind the issue?

The first scenario could be this that Taliban faced with the public opinion after the assassination of General Raziq and they were forced to say that Raziq was not the target.
In the past days, people sharply reacted to the assassination of General Raziq, describing the perpetrators as ‘terrorist’; an adjective the Taliban are not happy with.

The second scenario in changing the position, can be the release of Mullah Baradar from jail in Pakistan.
After General Raziq’s assassination, Mullah Baradar was freed in Pakistan. It is said that his release from prison has an impact on the Taliban’s position.

The third scenario is that Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) claimed the attack was plotted from the other side of Durand line. “the attacker made a phone call to the other side of the border moments before shooting,” NDS said. This issue can also be effective in changing the Taliban’s position as the group has been considered dependent on Pakistan and will be further destroyed in the public opinions.

It seems the Taliban wanted to psychologically use from the issue against the government by immediately claiming the responsibility for the removal of Gen. Raziq, but now they are trapped in the public opinion. According to analysis, the group wants to compensate their mistake by redefining the issue and intends to psychologically use from the incident more effectively as they are unable to maneuver in places where US military officials are present.
By Shokohmand

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