‘Taliban-IS clashes may accelerate peace process’
KABUL (Pajhwok): With confrontations increasing between Taliban and Islamic State (IS)-affiliated militants in Afghanistan, some lawmakers and analysts on Saturday said the government should use the situation in favour of peace and security.
The two groups have clashed on many occasions in Farah, Nangarhar, Kunar, Helmand and other northern provinces. In one of the latest incidents, Daesh fighters have reportedly beheaded 10 members of the Taliban in southeastern Afghanistan.
In another incident three days ago, Daesh fighters torched houses of 10 Taliban commanders in Spinghar district of Nangarhar province.
Maulvi Abdul Rahim Dost, a self-proclaimed Daesh commander, has confirmed differences and clashes with the Taliban. “In the name of Islam and jihad, the Taliban harass people and fight for Pakistan’s ISI in Afghanistan,” he had told the BBC.
Some lawmakers, however, say the two groups have many differences and the government should use the situation for bringing peace and security in the country.
Maulvi Shahidullah Shaid, a lawmaker from Kunar province, said the Taliban and the IS groups were not the same and they had many differences in opinion and strategy.
“The government can use the situation very well. It should try to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table at this moment,” he told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Last month, an informal meeting between Taliban representatives and Afghan officials took place in Qatar where Taliban reportedly showed a softer stance on issues related to restoration of peace.
Another two-day meeting between the group’s representativeS and Afghan women recently concluded in Norway where women’s rights were discussed. Maulvi Shahabuddin, Shahin and Abbas Stanikzai represented Taliban in the informal talks.
Qazi Abdul Rahim, an MP from Badghis province, said Taliban and Daesh were different in nature because the Taliban wanted an emirate and Daesh was seeking a caliphate.
With strong intelligence operations, he suggested, the government should benefit from their differences.
Political analyst Najib Rahimi was of the opinion that the Taliban had come under pressure due to these differences. He added they were fighting both Afghan security forces and Daesh at the same time that could stretch their manpower and resources.
He added the weakness could ultimately force the Taliban to arrive at peace negotiations with the Afghan government.
According to Rahimi, the amount of support Taliban enjoyed from their Pakistani backers was no longer there.
Wahid Muzhda, another analyst, said the differences between the two groups could further widen because foreigners wanted the war in Afghanistan to be prolonged. “In order to weaken the Taliban, the westerners have come to Daesh.”
Muzhda added if Taliban became weak and Daesh stronger that would mean Afghanistan would never witness peace.
Muzhda said until now only those who had sworn allegiance to Daesh were active in Afghanistan and there was no evidence proving that they had links with the group’s centre in Syria and Iraq.
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