Taliban: Differences of opinion among leaders won’t lead to bloodshed

In a video message on Thursday, the Taliban spokesperson, Zabihullah Majahid, dismissed internal rifts among the Taliban leadership, which have recently been reflected in some public speeches, including that of Sirajuddin Haqqani.

Mujahid said “foreign circles were trying to sow discord” among the group’s leadership. “They will take this dream to their graves,” he said.

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On 11 February, Sirajuddin Haqqani, the leader of the Haqqani Network and the interior minister of the Taliban government, delivered a speech at a gathering in eastern Afghanistan, which seen as a direct challenge to the group’s supreme leader, Mullah Hibatullah Akhundza. Haqqani warned against “forgetting the people” and “imposing views on others.”

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And on 12 February, Zabihullah Mujahid made his own speech, which was seen as a rebuke of Haqqani. Criticisms, he said, should be done “confidentially”, otherwise, it would be “an insult” to the group’s leader.

Speaking to the BBC on Thursday, the Taliban’s longtime spokesperson said “differences of opinion” the group’s ranks won’t lead to “bloodshed.”