Taliban denied internal divisions in Afghan government along with the rumor that one of its top leaders has been killed in a shootout with rivals. The Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen said that such news circulating in media are baseless and do not have any validity. His confirmation came today in the wake of rumored clashes between supporters of Baradar and Haqqani group.
Nearly a month after Taliban lightning victory over the Western-backed government in Kabul, the new Afghan cabinet has met with severe criticism from Afghan people as they claim that the government is not “inclusive” and have no women representation.
Read more: Taliban co-founder Baradar negated his death news going viral
No internal divisions in new Afghan government
Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesman, said Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, former head of the Taliban political office who was named deputy prime minister last week, issued a voice message rejecting claims he had been killed or injured in a clash.
“He says it is lies and totally baseless,” Shaheen said in a message on Twitter.
Mullah Baradar as some are rumoring his death were like many other ministers elsewhere or at another meeting, he is alive, neither wounded nor killed, also there are two deputies to the PM as seen in this list. Abdul Salam Hanafi was there. List is via @suhailshaheen1 pic.twitter.com/LS2Jut56hG
— Paktیawal (@Paktyaw4l) September 12, 2021
The Taliban also released video footage purportedly showing Baradar at meetings in the southern city of Kandahar.
The denials follow days of rumours that supporters of Baradar had clashed with those of Sirajuddin Haqqani, head of the Haqqani network that is based near the border with Pakistan and was blamed for some of the worst suicide attacks of the war.
The rumours follow speculation over possible rivalries between military commanders like Haqqani and leaders from the political office in Doha like Baradar, who led diplomatic efforts to reach a settlement with the United States.
The Taliban have repeatedly denied the speculation over internal divisions and the new regime is working hard to put into practice policies and governance framework so that the economy and political settlement comes on track.
Read more: FM Qatar encourages Afghan leaders to reconcile on national goals
Key Taliban leaders engaged in diplomatic and political activities
Baradar, once seen as the likely head of a Taliban government, had not been seen in public for some time and was not part of the ministerial delegation which met Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani in Kabul on Sunday.
The movement’s supreme leader, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, has also not been seen in public since the Taliban seized Kabul on Aug. 15, although he issued a public statement when the new government was formed last week.
Speculation over Taliban leaders has been fed by the circumstances surrounding the death of the movement’s founder, Mullah Omar, which was only made public in 2015 two years after it happened, setting off bitter recriminations among the leadership.
Suhail Shaheen asserts that media has always been spreading false news and propaganda and the ground situation is that there are no internal divisions in Afghan government. The leaders in the new regime are working hard and are reconciling on national goals which center on kickstarting Afghan staggering economy and attain international recognition which is essential for Afghanistan’s development.
Read more: The return of Taliban after two decades