Pakistani experts on the situation in Afghanistan under Taliban rule
Despite initial hopes for an inclusive government, the Taliban effectively restored the Islamic Emirate, concentrating power in the hands of senior religious figures.
The current administration is acting as a caretaker government with no specific timetable for the establishment of a permanent government, which reflects internal tensions and competition for key positions within the Taliban.
The lack of intra-Afghan dialogue or reconciliation beyond the Taliban's offer of protection to politicians associated with the previous regime raises questions about the regime's commitment to inclusiveness.
The promise of amnesty, although public, contrasts with the documented cases of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and torture, especially against former military personnel and police officers.
Afghanistan's independent media have effectively ceased to exist, minimizing public criticism.
The Taliban's struggle to crush armed resistance in the north of the country and the persistent threat from the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) emphasize ongoing security challenges.
In general, a contradictory picture is seen in this area. Following the Taliban's establishment of control over Afghanistan, an underground network emerged under the auspices of the self-proclaimed Islamic Emirate, led by a shadowy non-state actor known as the TTA (Taliban Terrorist Alliance). This entity operates through various terrorist proxies that strategically target neighboring countries.
Notably, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the China-targeted East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), and ISKP act under the influence of the TTA.
In a mysterious move following the Taliban's takeover, the release of imprisoned ISKP leaders and fighters was ordered by Sirajuddin Haqqani, Afghanistan's self-proclaimed interior minister. Provinces such as Kunar and Nangarhar have become havens for numerous terrorist groups, including the TTP, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) and ISKP, operating with the tacit approval of the Afghan government.
The smooth exchange of fighters between the TTP and ISKP resembles routine career progressions, highlighting the interconnected nature of these terrorist organizations under the auspices of the TTA.
A noticeable pattern emerges when TTA assigns its proteges specific roles. IS-Khorasan specializes in attacks on religious leaders and inciting sectarian violence, while the TTP is strategically deployed to attack security forces.
This symbiotic relationship is organized under the auspices of the TTA, demonstrating a highly coordinated proxy war strategy.
In addition to exporting terrorism to neighboring countries, ISKP plays a crucial role as a disruptive force in Afghanistan, acting as the “bad cop” for the TTA. This internal destabilization becomes a pretext for harsh actions by the Afghan government and the Global Defense Initiative (GDI).
TTA funding relies on illegal activities such as smuggling, extortion and drug trafficking. Their recruiting primarily targets economically vulnerable and religiously conservative segments of the Afghan and tribal population.
The porous borders between Afghanistan and Pakistan, combined with the significant number of illegal Afghan refugees in Pakistan, contribute to the sustainability of these terrorist groups.
Pakistan's decision to repatriate illegal Afghan refugees is being portrayed as a strategic move aimed at disrupting terrorist organizations.
Although this decision was morally, economically and legally justified, it has faced opposition from the Afghan government, which is trying to link the repatriation to unrelated territorial disputes.