Thursday, February 29, 2024

Engaging With Mullah Yaqoob is Easier, NRF’s Resistance not a Challenge: Brookings Research

Immigration News

Nizamuddin Rezahi
Nizamuddin Rezahi
Nizamuddin Rezahi is a journalist and editor for Khaama Press. You may follow him @nizamrezahi on Twitter.

Research findings of the Brookings Institution of the United States indicate that Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada is an irreconcilable leader, whereas Mullah Yaqoob is a pragmatic person, and it is easier to engage with him for the West.  

It is also highlighted that the National Resistance Front’s (NRF) military resistance does not pose any immediate threats to the country’s ruling regime.

Vanda Felbab-Brown author and political analyst in the foreign policy programs at Brookings say that serious disagreements exist among the Taliban leaders over the group’s policies.

After contacting reliable sources in Afghanistan and the West, Brown claims that pragmatic figures such as Mullah Yaqoob, and Sirajuddin Haqqani do not oppose the Taliban supreme leader’s decrees fearing death penalties and the group’s division.  

Despite the Taliban’s negotiation team in Qatar repeatedly emphasizing that the group’s policies towards political factions and women have changed, they have restricted women from participating in education and work as they seized power in August 2021. Brown says by forming a ‘monopolistic Pashtun government’ the Taliban have kicked other political groups out of the government circle.

Brown belongs to those Western politicians and analysts who recently discuss ‘moderate and extreme’ Taliban members. They believe that the moderate group of Taliban would take control of power in Afghanistan and revise the group’s policies and engagement with the western world.

The political analyst reiterates that the Taliban council based in Kandahar led by Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada exclusively issues the implementation of extremist decrees in Afghanistan. This comes as the moderate branch of the Taliban believes that the introduction of such policies will weaken the current regime and lead to losing control of power in the long term.

Pragmatic Taliban want the group to sustain power in Afghanistan. As per their analysis, if the economic challenges and the international isolation of the ruling regime are not resolved, and the foreign cash aid ended, the group will not sustain itself in power for longer.   

According to Brown, Mullah Yaqoob, Defense Minister, Mullah Ghani Baradar, Deputy Prime Minister, and Sirajuddin Haqqani, Interior Minister are among the pragmatic Taliban Leaders.  

She further adds that the three senior Taliban leaders including Mullah Yaqoob, Sirajuddin Haqqani, and Mullah Baradar are not united and do not trust each other. Therefore, it is difficult for them to bring most of the Taliban commanders with them.

Meanwhile, the chances are high that these senior Taliban leaders might even lose their lives due to deep intergroup disagreements, which may lead to the division of the group.

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