Future of Taliban Role in New Era

As the death of Taliban leader Mullah Omar was publicized, it appears that the process of replacing the Taliban with the ISIS has just started in Afghanistan. For many years, the sponsors of Taliban have made use of the Al-Qaeda and Taliban to achieve their own goals in the region. Now that a growing split has appeared in the Taliban which has undermined its power, its supporters have found that ISIS would be a good alternative, and at least for a decade it can help them to pursue their goals in the region. 

Experts in Afghanistan affairs believe the split in the Taliban group was quite expected; however, it is not clear how many factions this group will be divided into, or whether the supporters will also support the new wings of the Taliban or not? These are all uncertain and will be determined with the passage of time.

With a look at the parties and political groups which have experienced splits and divisions, one may conclude that a part of the Taliban which includes the most influential figures of this group, is backed by foreign supporters and the other factions have largely been isolated.

However, it is expected that Mullah Mansoor faction of Taliban which enjoys the support of Haqqani group in Pakistan, and also “Sirajuddin Haqqani” the son of “Jalaluddin Haqqani” the founder of this group, who serves as the deputy of the Taliban, to be supported by foreign supporters of the Taliban, and this way they will continue their political life. In the meantime, commanders who oppose Mullah Mansoor, can choose one of the following three main options:

1. Reconciliation: consistent with Mullah Mansoor faction, they can make reconciliation with the national unity government, and stop the war in Afghanistan;

2. To attract foreign sponsors: they can make attempts to find a major sponsor, a powerful foreign supporter, to continue with the activities of the Taliban;

3. To join an alternative group: they can join another group, probably the ISIS, and avoid the opposition to the group in Afghanistan.

It seems that the factions who opposed to leadership of Mullah Mansoor, will also oppose him, and they will practically stand against each other; they will gradually make way for weakening of the Taliban, the loss of the majority and decline of the Taliban group in a future which is not too far.

An important fact to note is that as the death of Mullah Omar was publicized, the Taliban’s supporters wish to take practical steps to replace the Taliban with the ISIS, and that is why they propose to negotiate with the Taliban. It appears that, with regard to current circumstances, the policies of the United States, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia about Afghanistan have become somewhat coordinated.

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