The latest: In an indirect criticism of the group’s stance currently, Sirajuddin Haqqani, the Taliban’s powerful acting Minister of Interior said at a ceremony in Kabul that their regime should not be exclusive to the people of a “religious school” and the Taliban regime should be shared by all.
- Haqqani, during a ceremony held on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the death of Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid, the founder of the Taliban, said, “I am saying that we should not make the system so exclusive and small that only the people of a religious school see it. Everyone is a partner in this system.”
- He implicitly criticized the monopoly of power by the Taliban. Haqqani stressed that all people should be included in the Taliban regime.
- He further added, “This system is not made only to save ourselves. It was built so that the country could be saved. I am sure that if he (Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid) were alive today, he would not only think about his five comrades-in-arms.”
- This is the first time that a high-ranking official in the Taliban leadership has explicitly referred to the spread of the Taliban rule.
- Since the Taliban returned to power in the past 20 months and announced the government, it has always been criticized by different countries for its lack of inclusiveness.
- Almost all members of the Taliban cabinet are middle-aged religious men who are members of this group. Most of them belong to the Pashtun ethnicity, and there are no women or people from the Shia religious minority or other minorities in the leadership of the group.
Take note: Earlier, even though many Taliban leaders had openly criticised the Taliban leader’s extremist policies regarding women and education, only Haqqani has voiced his criticism again. If this continues, we may witness more pressure on the Haqqani network in the near future by those who align themselves with the Taliban leader and the Kandahar circle.
Zoom out: In what seems to be a clear power struggle among the Taliban leadership, in recent weeks, the Taliban leaders in Kabul have publicly criticized the monopolization of power within the group and without mentioning the Taliban leader, they have been blunt in criticizing his actions.
- Earlier, Sirajuddin Haqqani had criticized the monopolization of power in the leadership of the Taliban and said that such behavior is unacceptable. According to Haqqani, the current situation increases the rifts between the Taliban government and the Afghan people.
- Haqqani also widely criticized Taliban members, saying that they only think about their “personal interests”. The speech had been delivered in the stronghold of the Haqqanis in Khost province. During the speech, Haqqani said that in contrast to now, during the time that he calls the Jihad of the Taliban, religion remained firm by religious scholars.
- Mullah Yaqoob, the Taliban’s defense minister, had also said that pride and arrogance should be put aside and the will of the people should be accepted. Yaqoob asked the Taliban leadership to preserve the Taliban political system.
- These sharp criticisms come at a time when the Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada, who has not been seen in public and the Kandahar circle, is against the education of girls and has so far been able to impose his decisions on the cabinet of the group in Kabul.
- However, the group’s deputy foreign minister, Sher Abbas Stanikzai, had said that there is no “opposition and rebellion” among the Taliban leaders and they all agree to what the “Amir” says. Stanikzai said that all Taliban members, even if they agree or disagree with the views of the Taliban supreme leader, obey his orders.