Khorasani & Taliban’s Defence Ministry’s Months-Long Ethnic Rivalry Comes to Fore As 4 of His Men Are Arrested by Taliban in Parwan After Clash


The latest: At least four guards of Abdul Hamid Khorasani have been arrested as a result of a clash between Taliban members in the Abedkhil area of Jabal Saraj district of Parwan province on Tuesday.


Go deeper:

  • The clash occurred when Abdul Hamid Khorasani had gone to the village to arrest a resident with his men in Jabal Saraj district.
  • After an hour-long clash, Taliban’s Defence Ministry forces, led by the commander of the group’s military brigade in Bagram, Mawlawi Farhad, are believed to have detained four of Khorasani’s men.
  • According to sources, Khorasani was released from the Farhad prison after two hours after mediation by people affiliated with the Haqqani network.
  • However, his guards are still in prison.
  • Khorasani claimed that his men had gone there to arrest a man suspected to aligning with Daesh, when Taliban’s Defence Ministry forces intervened unjustly and interrupted their operation.
  • Khorasani has called his unit of security personnel as “Nasser Badri” and claimed that certain operations are being dictated to him by the Taliban leadership and that Tuesday’s operations were also conducted under the orders of the Taliban.
  • The Ministry of Defence of the Taliban has not commented about it so far.


Who is he? Khorasani is a Tajik and is currently the Ahmedabad district chief of Paktia Province.

  • After the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, Khorasani served as commander of security affairs in the police command of Panjshir province. The position is the second most senior police official in a province in Afghanistan and the person in charge is mainly in charge of operations of the police command.
  • Before the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, Khorasani was imprisoned by the former Afghan government on charges of social disruption and having an illegal armed group. Khorasani has been accused of murder, extortion, hostage-taking and drug smuggling and had been arrested three times by the previous Afghan government for illegal activities.
  • Earlier, he was leading a group of youth that he called ‘Nahzat-e-Islami Muqawomat’ [Islamic Resistance Movement].
  • Before the Taliban had seized power, he would claim on social media that “I would die, but not surrender to the Taliban and Panjshir is my home and every Talib that steps here will die”. However, soon he joined hands with the group. We can see now how fragile that bond was due to the frequent clashes between him and the group’s Defence Ministry led by Mullah Yaqoob.


Back story: Abdul Hamid Khorasani was appointed security commander of the Taliban police command after Panjshir fell to the Taliban. He worked in this position for a while and then was dismissed in March 2022 under alleged charges of misusing his authority.

  • He accused the provincial governor of mistreating the residents of Panjshir. Khorasani was, then, appointed as the district governor of Ahmedabad district of Paktia in early 2023.
  • He has time and again accused and specifically criticised the group’s defence ministry and there have been difference between the two groups for several months.
  • Sources in the Taliban’s Defence Ministry accused Khorasani and his men of arbitrary detention and blackmailing people, but this claim has always been denied by him.
  • In fact, the Taliban’s Defence Ministry even raided his home in Kabul for weapons and vehicles, seized them and then transferred it their own base.
  • Khorasani’s brother and five Tajik and indigenous Taliban members of the group had been arrested earlier too after orders from Pashtun Taliban faction member Mawlawi Musafir and the commander of the group’s brigade in Panjshir.
  • Last year, Khorasani had said that he is defending the rights of his people in the province when people loyal to Khorasani clashed with the Taliban following the killing of a young man by the Taliban in Panjshir.
  • Khorasani claimed that the Taliban’s system belonged only to the “Pashtuns” and said that there was “a lack of justice” in the group.


Zoom out: Recently, intergroup differences between the Taliban have increased. The conflict in Parwan highlights the ongoing internal power struggles and divisions within the Taliban’s leadership.

  • Reports of disagreements and clashes between different factions of the group have emerged in recent weeks, indicating that the Taliban are facing challenges in maintaining unity and cohesion. In the most recent case, while the Taliban’s ministry of defence forces has arrested Khorasani’s men, he has claimed that their operation had been in coordination with the Taliban’s interior ministry led by Sirajuddin Haqqani. This means, that in the big picture, the Taliban’s defence and interior ministers are in a hidden power struggle.
  • Earlier, Mawlawi Mahdi Mujahid, a Hazara Taliban commander after being removed from Bamiyan’s intelligence department, left their ranks and formed a front against the Taliban in Balkhab district of Sar-e-Pul province.
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