Where are the missing Taliban leaders? rumors swirl over lot of two top officials

Those rumors got so much traction in the past few days die Taliban spokesmen had to fend off off to ask over of one of the most prominent figures in the group, Mullah Baradar, was injured of was even killed in a fight in Kabul in the past week with the powerful Haqqani network, die applies key positions in the intermediate government.

Similarly, Taliban officials have repeatedly said that the movement’s supreme leader and commander…inChief, Haibatullah Akhundzada, would soon make a public appearance. He hasn’t — fueling rumors that he’s sick of even… dead.

In others countries, would a politician die subject to such speculation, call An news conference of a television appearance to set the record Straight ahead. In the case of Baradar, a 39-second sound recording of modest quality was released on Monday, together with a handwritten note from his assistant. No videos came of Pictures. The last time Baradar was seen was in a fleeting appearance in a hotel in Kabul in the first week of September.

In the audio clip, Baradar supposedly says: “There are some conversations in in media. I’d been out on a journey during these days. I had gone somewhere and praise God we are all good. Some of this media networks do this kind of of propaganda and telling such shameful lies. Refuse this talk with courage. There are no problems no problems, praise to God. I assure you 100%.”

Baradar is the head of Politics of the Taliban office and led the Doha Negotiations with the former government and the United States. Some expected him to be named prime minister, but after lengthy negotiations on the shape of the new government, Baradar was appointed deputy prime minister.

rumors of internal rifts were fueled by Baradar’s absence from the delegation, die… met The Qatari minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani in Kabul on Sunday. Taliban officials explained he wasn’t in Kabul, but had gone to Kandahar, where supreme leader Haibatullah Akhundzada is said to have been based.

the invisibility of the Taliban leadership is not a new phenomenon. This is not a group that feels the need to communicate with the outside world. In many ways, the Taliban’s PR effort has become a lot more Advanced in the last couple of year, with social media bills in multiple languages ​​and spokespersons like Zabihullah Mujahid holding news conferences. The Taliban produced a prodigious volume of video as the fighters stormed across the country in August.

But that more assertive communication strategy does not extend to leaders who spent a lot of their life in the fight against guerrilla warfare and in some cases years in prison. the Taliban remain a mysterious one organization.

Azaz Syed, a Pakistani journalist who has reported on the Taliban for years, told CNN: “Most of the key Taliban leaders, met name from Haqqani family — avoid public exposure of outwardly because they are convinced that their identity help the ‘enemy’ to target them.” Old habits, it seems, die hard.

There is no better example of the Taliban’s attitude to publicity and transparency than the circumstances of the death of tuberculosis of its co-founder and first leader, Mullah Omar. He died in 2013, but the group did not disclose fact until two years later. Which in itself was an indication of the deep division within the group, mostly over peace negotiations, die many of the Taliban’s military commanders resist. The divisions were so acute that some commanders left the service group until join the emerging ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan.

Officials have repeatedly said that the Taliban's supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, would soon make a public appearance.  He hasn't got it yet.

The current supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, was elected in 2016 at a difficult meeting of the leadership council, of shura, in the Pakistani city of Quetta — the headquarters of the Taliban in banishment. He does not have made An public appearance in the following five years. for many of 2020, no statement came out in his name. AN senior Taliban official, Molawi Muhammad Ali Jan Ahmed told Foreign Policy last year that Achundzada was afflicted with the coronavirus, which affected many senior Taliban officials.

“Our leader is sick, but he is recovering,” Ahmed said Foreign policy in an interview in June 2020. Other Taliban sources told Foreign Policy they thought Achundzada had died of COVID-19.

In the month since the Taliban took power in Kabul, alone one statement has been issued in the name of Achundzada, in to which he said: “I assure all compatriots that the numbers … [ministers in the Taliban government] shall work hard in towards maintaining Islamic rules and the sharia in the country.”

Afghanistan is now one of    very little countries with    new women in    top government ranks

If there are serious divisions within the Taliban leadership today, they may have their roots in die shura of 2016. A compromise was reached to make the group together, with two deputies appointed: Mullah Yaqoob, de son of the Taliban’s first leader, Mullah Omar; and Sirajuddin Haqqani, leader of the Haqqani network.

They are both in the new government, if defense and interior ministers, respectively. Little has been seen of or man despite their importance in the hold key security portfolios.

However, Sirajuddin’s uncle Khalil, appointed as the minister for refugees, has been more visible, addressing tribal gatherings and even granting interviews to select foreign journalists. Azaz Syed of GeoNews met it in Kabul last month.

“Among the Haqqanis is Khalil Haqqani indeed more visible in the social meetings,” said Syed. “However, he is… also very carefully met his safety — when he moves in the city, a transport of auto’s and guards of the Special 313 Brigade give him safety.” protection may not be surprising, want he has a $5 million bounty on to be head courtesy of The United States governmentwhile his cousin Sirajuddin has a $10 million bounty.

In this feverish atmosphere, all that emerges over a dispute of clash between rival elements… in carefully worded whispers off-the-record. The internal machinations of the Taliban and decision-to make give new definition of the word opaque.

Read More: World News

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