Taliban Internal Disputes and Speculations about the Future

In the past week or two, rumors of internal disputes within the Taliban have created hope in political circles that these disagreements could lead to a political change in the country. As these rumors spread, different political forces began to speculate about potential future scenarios and consider the consequences of each. On one hand, there was optimism that the current stalemate could be broken and a way to move forward could be found; on the other hand, there were also concerns that the victory of one group over the other could lead to a monopoly of power by one bloc, which would destroy the hope of real change for many years.

There have been rumors of internal disagreements within the Taliban for a long time, not just in political circles. Before they came to power, there were talks of different factions, such as the Quetta Shura, Haqqani Network, Zahedan Shura, Mullah Rasool, and Manan Niazi. After they took control of Kabul, news leaked out that they had exchanged fire inside the presidential palace. At the same time, media reported that the head of Pakistan‘s intelligence had come to Kabul to prevent a fullscale armed confrontation between them. With the Taliban‘s increasingly strict rules on the people, especially women, which caused widespread condemnation from many countries and international organizations, the topic of internal dispute was brought up again. The American research institute, Brookinger, reported that some figures like Mullah Yaqub, Sirajuddin Haqqani, and Mullah Baradar were not happy with the way their leader was handling affairs, but were afraid to express it, as they could be executed. In meetings with foreign officials, they showed their strong discontent with their leader, but also emphasized their obedience.

There is hope in some political circles that internal disputes, if they exist at all, can be a source of progress. However, counting on such skirmishes can be overly optimistic. What we know for sure is that the different factions of this group do not differ in their intellectual and ideological framework, but they have different opinions on the tactical level and how to deal with people and critics. Some of them only trust those who have absolute commitment and loyalty to their supreme leader, while others are willing to cooperate with elements of other political groups who share the Taliban‘s ideology but may be from a different ethnic group. Similarly, the issue of women‘s education should be solved in a way that reduces protests and international community reaction. However, there is no difference between them regarding fundamental issues such as returning to the people‘s vote, the rule of the constitution, limiting the powers of the leader, decentralizing the power structure, and breaking ties with international terrorism. We can be optimistic when a force gains power that believes in pluralism, decentralization of power, return to the rule of law, basing their power on the citizens vote, and, in short, believes in the will of the people.