As Pashtun Affiliates Occupy Uzbek Lands, Top Uzbek Commander Leaves Taliban Ranks

A leading Uzbek commander has announced he is leaving the ranks of the Taliban due to the Taliban-affiliated Pashtuns taking over Uzbek lands in northern Afghanistan.

Mawlawi Abdul Baqi Omari complained about Taliban leadership’s injustice among his subordinates in Maimana city on Friday, warning the Taliban leadership that he was leaving their ranks.

Among the reasons Omari withdrew from the Taliban ranks were the injustices within the Taliban leadership and the usurpation of Uzbek lands by Pashtun Taliban.

He has also threatened to take up arms if Taliban-affiliated Pashtun people usurp Uzbek lands and arrest Uzbeks arbitrarily.

This commander’s claims have not been contested by the Taliban in Faryab province.

Nomads have reportedly taken tens of acres of land and pastures from residents of Sar-e-Pul, Faryab, Jawzjan, and Balkh provinces in recent months.

Taliban commanders are not uncommon to engage in infighting and leave the ranks. A previous uprising against the Taliban had been carried out by Mawlawi Mehdi and Mawlawi Abdul Hamid in Sar-e-Pul and Badakhshan, respectively.