News of the captivity of Mullah Baradar and the death of Haibatullah Akhunzada in Afghanistan: report
Even though the Taliban has managed to capture Afghanistan and form a government, an internal rift has begun to emerge between its faction. The Taliban government is heavily influenced by the Haqqani network, which is a puppet of Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI. Mulla Baradar is taken hostage in Kandahar, while Haibatullah Akhundzada is dead. This information has been received according to media reports.
David Lyon, writing for the weekly British magazine The Spectator, said that Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar had hoped to run the government, but was instead given the role of deputy PM. He wanted more roles for Afghanistan's many ethnic minorities in government and has also argued that the green, red and black Afghan national flag should still be flown alongside the Taliban's white flag. Lion said anger flared up at a meeting held at the Presidential Palace in Kabul recently. A fight broke out between Baradar and Khalil Haqqani. Some sources said that there had been firing, although this has not been confirmed.
According to some sources, the gunshots heard in Kabul earlier this month were actually a power struggle between co-founders Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Anas Haqqani, two senior Taliban leaders. The incident took place over alleged disagreements between Taliban leaders on how to resolve the Panjshir situation. The information about the reported firing was shared through the unverified Twitter handle of Panjshir Observer, which describes itself as an independent news outlet covering Afghanistan and Panjshir.
After the battle Baradar disappeared from Kabul for a few days. It then re-emerged in Kandahar, where the group's supreme leader Haibatullah Akhundzada has a base. Some believe that Baradar has been taken hostage by the Haqqani network. During this time, there was vigorous public dissent played out among Taliban factions, Lion said. The whereabouts of Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhunzada is still unknown. He hasn't been seen or heard from in some time. There are rumors that he is dead.
Lion said that this vacuum at the top of the Taliban has allowed such debates between its factions that the struggle for power in the Taliban is not the last time. The words that came out of the mouth of Mullah Omar, the top Taliban leader, were known as the law, even though he never came to Kabul. Mullah Hassan Akhund, the head of the government formed earlier this month, does not hold real power. There is no one to rein in the Haqqani network, which carries too many messages in its public statements.
It has been more than a month since the Taliban captured Kabul after an aggressive and swift advance against the Afghan government forces following the withdrawal of US forces. The country plunged into crisis last month after Kabul fell into the hands of the Taliban and the democratically elected government of former President Ashraf Ghani.
Lion said it was difficult to predict how Pakistan would manage the new power in Afghanistan. Earlier this month, Pakistan's intelligence chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed arrived in Kabul, leading a delegation of officers. Hameed's emergency visit confirms that the Taliban are mere puppets of the ISI. Pakistan and its notorious intelligence agency ISI have been accused of supporting the Taliban in the capture of Afghanistan.
Experts believe that Pakistan has been a major player in toppling the elected Afghan government and establishing the Taliban as a decisive force in Afghanistan. A recent UN surveillance report said a significant portion of al Qaeda's leadership lives in the Afghanistan and Pakistan border region.
Amrullah Saleh, the former Vice President of Afghanistan, has insisted that the Taliban are being subtly managed by Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI. It also said that Islamabad as a colonial power is effectively in charge of the war-torn country.