The Taliban have been attempting hard to convince the world that they will sever ties with terror groups like al-Qaeda after they they are back in power in Afghanistan after 20 years and need the world’s recognition and approbation, a media report said.
Recently, the Taliban held their first press conference after capturing Kabul and answered a variety of questions, even they vowed to respect women and human rights but they were silent on their strong links with the regional terror groups and their future, the InsideOver media outlet reported.
The Taliban have nearly more than two decades-old relations with Al-Qaeda and their proximity with the Pakistan-based terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamat-ud-Dawa have never been a secret. But now, when the terror group is set to get power, would the Taliban be still assisting these groups or leave them, it has not made it clear.
The Taliban have never confirmed its links with the terror groups operating in Afghanistan but all that changed after the Doha Agreement of 2019 when they signed on the dotted line to ensure that they will not allow any terrorist group to use Afghanistan as a base to plan attacks against the US, the InsideOver said.
When the Taliban gained power in 1996, they started conducting barbaric acts, violence, violating human rights and suppressing women and acted like a terror group in the region in the name of Sharia laws. They were only recognised by Pakistan, UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Later, they gave safe haven to former Al-Qaeda head Osama Bin Laden and his terror group and welcomed thousands of terrorists in the region. And even terrorists have been receiving training in Afghanistan under the Taliban’s control.
In 2001, as the Taliban were thrown out of power, terrorists of both sides spent years hiding in valleys and mountains. As time passed, the group developed a strong bond among each other as they developed familiar relations and married into each other’s group. These relations are permanent and can’t be suspended, unlike a deal. Now, when the Taliban have gained control over Afghanistan, terrorists have got more security in the region, the InsideOver added.
In Afghanistan, there are many places hard to govern, due to geographical difficulties. Those places are safe havens for terrorists in the region.
When the Taliban captured Afghanistan’s Kunar province, terrorists hailed the group’s victory a lot as hundreds of al-Qaeda terrorists are believed to be hidden in the region. Kunar province has the most inaccessible and challenging terrain making it difficult for security forces to enter the region.
Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al Zawahiri is said to be somewhere in Afghanistan along with a number of other senior figures of al-Qaeda. The report of the UNSC’s monitoring team in late July stated: “Al-Qaida is present in at least 15 Afghan provinces, primarily in the eastern, southern and south-eastern regions. Its weekly Thabat newsletter reports on its operations inside Afghanistan. Al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) operates under Taliban protection from Kandahar, Helmand and Nimruz Provinces. Since the death of Asim Umar in 2019, AQIS has been led by Osama Mahmood (not listed). The group consists mainly of Afghan and Pakistani nationals, but also individuals from Bangladesh, India and Myanmar,” reported the InsideOver.
The Taliban’s long history of association with terror groups and its family-based relations with terrorists of other groups have raised severe questions about the Taliban’s commitment during the Doha agreement that it would not provide safe heavens to any terrorist in Afghanistan.