1) Khudai Noor Nasar (Islamabad), “Afghanistan: Taliban leaders in bust-up at presidential palace, sources say,” BBC, September, 2021 2:30 p.m.(?) EST).
2) Nirmeeti Patole, “Was Mullah Baradar Killed by Haqqani Network? Audio Message of Taliban Co-founder Emerges,” International Business Times, September 14, 2021 (16:01 +08).
3) Debbie White, “MISSING MULLAH Mystery as Taliban deputy PM Baradar the Butcher not seen for days then ‘denies he’s dead’ after palace ‘gun battle’,” The Sun, September 15, 2021 1Updated: 0:26).
4) KATIE WESTON and CHRIS PLEASANCE FOR MAILONLINE and AFP, “Taliban leaders DID have huge ‘hawks v doves’ bust-up at the Presidential palace before deputy PM Baradar fled to Kandahar, sources in the group reveal – but insist he was NOT shot dead; Row erupted between the minister for refugees and group’s co-founder Baradar; The deputy PM was reportedly unhappy about structure of interim government; It follows Taliban being forced to deny rumours that the deputy leader is dead; The group insisted he is actually in Kandahar, meeting with their supreme leader, The Daily Mirror, September 14, 2021 (21:14 EDT, updated 21:30 EDT).
The whereabouts and fate of Mollah Baradar, the leader of the so-called Kabul faction of the Taliban, are the subject of numerous rumors saying he has been wounded in a firefight between his followers and those of the Haqqani network. The dispute was variously reported as resulting from his unhappiness with the constellation of the new interim Taliban government, or over a disagreement over whether to conquer the last resistance in the Panjshir Valley by force or through negotiations. The Valley was taken by force, as the alleged gunfight took place at the Presidential Palace in Kabul. The Haqqani network, backed by apakistan’s ISI military intelligence agency, emerged triumphant with key positions, while Baradar and his relatively “moderate” faction were relegated to second-tier posirions.
Baradar had been touted as the likely prime minister, which is what Western overnments and international oorganizations would have preferred to see, viewing him as someone they could negotiate with in talks over restoring international aid and financial flows.
It appears that his approach was too “moderate” for the hardline leaders of the Haqqani etwork and the military commanders and foot soldiers with whom they were more closely aligned.
It sounds like Baradar, if he is alive, is in an insecure position vis-à-vis the Haqqani network. Nonetheless, the Taliban coukd need him to help restore finanial flows and humanitarian aid, if not immediately then perhaps after the economy has collapsed and famine gripped the country..
It sounds like q majot power grab within the Taliban by the Haqqani network is underway.
Anthony Blinken, the clueless American Sexretary of State, is only undermining the more moderate Baradar faction as he postures with the demands of the U.S. and the international community for proper behavior by the Taliban.
Someone should tell Blinken who won the war, and then he should shut up.
The Trenchant Observer