Tal­iban warn Is­lamic State leader not to in­ter­fere in­side Afghanistan

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY EMAL HAIDARY

The Tal­iban Tues­day warned the leader of the Is­lamic State group against wag­ing a par­al­lel in­sur­gency in Afghanistan, af­ter a string of de­fec­tions and re­ported clashes with mil­i­tants loyal to IS.

The Mid­dle Eastern group, also known by its Ara­bic acro­nym Daesh, has never for­mally ac­knowl­edged hav­ing a pres­ence in Afghanistan but fears are grow­ing that the group is mak­ing in­roads in the coun­try.

In a let­ter ad­dressed to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Bagh­dadi, the Tal­iban in­sisted that “ji­had (holy war) against the Amer­i­cans and their al­lies must be con­ducted un­der one flag and one lead­er­ship.”

“The Is­lamic Emi­rate (Tal­iban) does not con­sider the mul­ti­plic­ity of ji­hadi ranks ben­e­fi­cial ei­ther for ji­had or for Mus­lims,” said the let­ter signed by the Tal­iban deputy leader Mul­lah Akhtar Mo­ham­mad Man­soor.

“Your de­ci­sions taken from a dis­tance will re­sult in (the IS) los­ing sup­port of re­li­gious scholars, mu­jahideen ... and in or­der to de­fend its achieve­ments the Is­lamic Emi­rate will be forced to re­act,” it added.

The let­ter, pub­lished on the Tal­iban web­site in Pashto, Urdu, Ara­bic and Dari, did not elab­o­rate on its threat.

The state­ment demon­strates a grow­ing dis­quiet within the Tal­iban about the creep­ing in­flu­ence and pop­u­lar­ity of IS within in­sur­gent ranks, an­a­lysts say.

The Tal­iban have seen de­fec­tions in re­cent months — with some in­sur­gents ap­par­ently adopt­ing the IS flag to re­brand them­selves as a more lethal force as NATO troops de­part.

“To their tra­di­tional back­ers, the Tal­iban are like an ex­pired for­mula. The Tal­iban know this and in­creas­ingly fear be­ing side­lined,” said Kabul-based au­thor and an­a­lyst Ah­mad Saeedi.

“This let­ter is a kind of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion pro­posal to Daesh ... telling them that they are on the same boat and they should not fight each other,” Saeedi told AFP.

The two groups, which es­pouse dif­fer­ent i de­o­log­i­cal strains of Sunni Is­lam, are be­lieved to be ar­rayed against each other in Afghanistan’s restive south, with clashes fre­quently re­ported.

Last week, lo­cal media re­ported pitched bat­tles be­tween the Tal­iban and sup­port­ers of IS in eastern Afghanistan, with ca­su­al­ties re­ported on both sides.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.