• Staff

Taliban power struggle leads to disappearance of top leaders, boding poorly for national stability

A violent mêlée broke out last week in the Arg, Afghanistan's presidential palace, between rival factions of the Taliban government. Military leadership, including Khalil ur-Rahman Haqqani of the Haqqani network, fought their rivals in the Taliban diplomatic corps (led by Deputy Prime Minister* Abdul Ghani Baradar) over which faction contributed more greatly to the Taliban's successes in the last year and should hold more power in their government. Abdul Ghani Baradar, a previously highly public figure, then disappeared from sight along with others for over a week. Taliban spokesmen were then conspicuously vague about Baradar's whereabouts before he finally re-emerged today, strongly suggesting he was wounded in the shootout and needed time to recover.

While the democratic government of Afghanistan was far from perfect, it never engaged in internecine violence within the walls of the Presidential Palace. As long as the Taliban are in power, this turmoil will not end—those who live by the sword will die by the sword, as the adage goes. The Taliban has proven incapable of ensuring the rule of law or domestic security, even along the border with Pakistan, their own allies. The only way to create lasting stability in Afghanistan is through representative government and respect for human rights, the very causes the resistance fights for.

*The National Resistance Front of Afghanistan rejects the legitimacy of the Taliban's all-male, all-Pashtun cabinet as representatives for a highly multiethnic state, calling on all other nations to do the same. Taliban-designated titles are used only to convey individuals' status in the Taliban power hierarchy.

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