Slain al-Qaida chief’s presence in Kabul damaged Taliban’s credibility

ISLAMABAD: The killing of al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a recent drone strike in Kabul raised questions about the reliability of the Afghans Taliban The government has promised not to allow terrorists to use its land, and has fueled speculation about US tactics in deploying unannounced counter-terrorism operations in the region on targeted targets. suspect.
Just two weeks before the first anniversary of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, CIA fired two Hellfire missiles at 6:15 a.m. last Sunday and killed al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian, on the balcony of a house in Kabul’s Sherpur, also known as the diplomatic quarter. His predecessor, Osama bin Ladenwas killed by the US Navy in a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in May 2011.
Some Taliban observers and sources believe that al-Zawahiri, along with his family, was moved to a heavily guarded place in Kabul earlier this year by Haqqani’s top leadership, who has important marital and strategic ties to al-Qaida-affiliated Arab fighters. “It is said that the Taliban Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani provided shelter for the al-Qaida leader in the center of Kabul. However, one cannot place the full burden on Haqqani when it comes to maintaining ties with the terrorist group,” said Nazrul Islam, an Islamabad-based observer.
“We should not forget that the founder of the Taliban, Mullah Muhammad Omer, sacrificed his government to protect Osama bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks,” he added.
Al-Zawahiri, a local and intelligence source in Pakistan’s border regions, said he had stayed in the border areas between Afghanistan and Pakistan for the past two decades. Since the United States invaded Afghanistan. he has survived several attacks on both sides of the Durand Line, the volatile Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
During an earlier manhunt for him, four CIA-operated Predator drones fired multiple Hellfire missiles at three adjacent properties in the Damadola region of Pakistan, in the Bajaur tribal district, in January 2018. 2006. The attack was carried out based on intelligence that al-Zawahiri, then second-in-command in al-Qaida, was invited to a dinner to mark Islam’s holiday. Eidul Azha in the compound was targeted. Nearly two dozen innocent people were killed in that attack, including 14 from a family.
After US President Joe Biden confirmed his death this week, Kabul called it an attack on its sovereignty while Washington said al-Zawahiri’s presence in Kabul was a violation of the Agreement Doha agreement because the Taliban promised not to use Afghanistan’s land. against any country.
“These issues are still unclear to us, the only thing we know for sure is that a drone attack took place, which violates international law and the Doha Agreement. It is the policy of the Islamic Emirates, which has been repeatedly stated to the people, that our land must not be used against our neighbours”, said Abdul Salam Hanafi, Second Deputy Prime Minister. of the Islamic Emirate, said Tuesday.
However, Afghan analysts say the latest attack could further damage Kabul’s already strained relations with the international community. “This strike means not recognizing the Islamic Emirate. It is clear that no country will recognize Taliban rule. The United States, which has recently shown some flexibility in freeing up money for Kabul, will clearly halt any such process,” he said. Sayed Ishaq Gilanileader of the Afghan Solidarity Movement.
Aziz Mairaj, a former Afghan diplomat, said the al-Qaida leader’s presence in the heart of the capital, Kabul, has severely damaged the credibility of the Taliban’s rule. “Thereafter, any statements made or will be made by the foreign minister of the Taliban at international meetings and forums will be considered false and shallow,” Mairaj said.

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