Afghanistan: Taliban Denies Disappearance Of Co-Founder After Clashes Over Who Should Take Credit For Victory
The Taliban has denied reports that Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is missing following internal arguments over who did the most to secure the group’s victory.
His supposed disappearance came after he argued that the Taliban‘s victory in Afghanistan should be credited to diplomacy carried out by people like him, while members of the Haqqani group said that it was through its combat efforts.
The Haqqani group was created by Sirajuddin Haqqani, deputy leader of Taliban, and Khalil Haqqani, the Taliban emissary.
The two groups are reportedly rivals, and arguments broke out at the presidential palace in Kabul soon after the Taliban regained control of the capital city last month.
Baradar and Khalil ur-Rahman Haqqani were said to be two of the people to take part in a heated debate that occurred last week.
As well as arguing over who deserves the credit for the Taliban’s recent victory, the brawl also revolved around the Islamic militia’s new cabinet.
Baradar is reportedly unhappy about the structure of the new interim government, which is made up of male, senior Taliban officials, some of whom are known for their connections to the devastating 9/11 attacks, one person being Haqqani.
Senior Taliban officials confirmed to BBC News that the brawl had taken place, but the Taliban itself has denied it.
Following the argument, Baradar was said to have disappeared for several days, with some believing he was dead.
These rumours were quickly dismissed, however, with the Taliban’s spokesperson, Suhail Shaheen, stating that Baradar himself called the claims ‘totally baseless’.
A voice message by Baradar was released on Monday, September 13, to prove that he was still alive, in which he said that he hadn’t been seen for a few days because he’d been ‘away on trips’.
While he failed to confirm his actual whereabouts, he insisted that they were ‘all fine’, BBC News reports. The recording is yet to be verified as Baradar, however.
Questions regarding Baradar’s wellbeing are undeniably justified given the Taliban’s history. The group admitted in 2015 that it had covered up the death of its founding leader, Mullah Omar, for more than two years.
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