News - Afghanistan
Emerging divisions among the Taliban leadership could present an opportunity for the Afghan security forces to exert heightened military and intelligence pressure on the insurgent group, analysts told TOLOnews on Wednesday.
"Intelligence forces, along with the security forces, must advance vigorously their intelligence performance and attract those groups who are interested in joining the peace process," political analyst Miagul Wasiq said.
The comments come amid uncertainty surrounding the future of the peace negotiations process launched last month outside Islamabad, which came after months of intense fighting in southern, eastern and northern Afghanistan. The death of the Taliban's former supreme leader Mullah Omar and the apparent succession of his former deputy Mullah Akhtar Mansour has prompted confusion and discord at the top of militant group's ranks, raising questions about its cohesiveness and ability to meet the Afghan government in negotiations or on the battlefield.
As of now, Afghan security officials in field report that they are picking up the pressure on militant groups around the country.
"Uzbekistani, Pakistani and local insurgents were involved in a Faryab battle and we responded to them with full force," Special Police Forces Commander Asadullah Shirzad told TOLOnews on Wednesday.
"A number of Taliban in Baghlan are currently engaged in battle with security forces, and believe me they [the Taliban] don't even know why they are fighting," Baghlan provincial NDS chief Abdul Rashid said.
Thanks to intelligence work, Baghlan's security forces recently saw a major victory in their efforts to clear insurgent out of the province: Mohammad Yasin Taliban, the Taliban's local military operation commander, was arrested in an operation in Kabul.
According to Yasin, he was brought to Afghanistan from Pakistan and recruited in a Madrassa by a man named Mullah Younos. "I was in Pakistan in a Madrassa called Sultania and a man named Mullah Younos was calling and promoting for Jihad, so I also accepted the invitation," he told TOLOnews.
The Ministry of Interior (MoI) has spoken of their determination to pushback the ground gained by insurgent groups over the spring fighting season.
"Anywhere the enemy have movment and fight against the Afghan people, no doubt they will be suppressed and our pressure will keep on," MoI spokesman Siddiq Siddiqi said on Wednesday.