It has been rumored that a number of Taliban officials have expressed their dissatisfaction with certain decisions made by their leadership during meetings with foreign delegations. These middle ranking officials have argued that the leadership’s decisions will only increase the pressure on their regime and further enrage the people, which they believe is a recipe for disaster. They are concerned that they may lose the power, status, and resources they currently possess, and that the leadership’s decisions put them in danger. The rumors began when some well-known officials, without naming the leadership in order to avoid direct confrontation and its consequences, criticized the monopoly of power.
On the other hand, some overly optimistic individuals opened large accounts based on these minor criticisms, and began to fantasize about the outcome. They imagined that these indirect criticisms were a prelude to a power struggle between the Taliban or even a military coup that would lead to the removal of Mullah Hibatullah from power, and afterwards the more moderate elements of the Taliban would succeed in isolating the more extreme elements, then in a coalition with other political forces they would agree to form a new administration, embracing a non-Taliban approach. They have forgotten that in the past, the internal disputes of the People’s Party, which even resulted in the murder of the leader of the revolution, did not lead to a regime change.
It is clear that there is a power struggle among different factions of the Taliban, and they do not agree on tactical matters. Some of the more ambitious elements are willing to make superficial compromises on issues such as women’s rights and inclusiveness in order to maintain their power or, at best, gain legitimacy. On the other hand, the more extreme factions prioritize ideological issues, believing that concessions should be kept to a minimum in order to keep their fighters motivated and willing to make sacrifices.
The concept of allegiance is often overlooked, but it is of great importance from the Taliban perspective. According to Islamic jurisprudence, when a pledge of allegiance is made to an Emir, obedience becomes binding and disobedience is interpreted as an unforgiveable sin. Additionally, the Quran and Hadith state that breaking a pledge of allegiance is considered to be hypocrisy and treachery, and is also an unforgiveable sin. Allegiance plays a pivotal role in maintaining cohesion, obedience, and loyalty among the ranks of Taliban fighters. For political Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Hizb-e-Tahrir, al-Qaeda, ISIS, and the Taliban, allegiance is what makes their followers obey them. The concept of allegiance is also deeply rooted in tribal traditions, where individualism is sacrificed for the collective interest of the tribe or community. However, in modern times, allegiance has been replaced by elections for the same reason: that the individuality of a human should be respected and they should remain independent, not bound to a certain ideology or forced to obey a certain person.