With Taliban now riddled with factionalism, Afghanistan is headed towards a civil war and the country is becoming a safe haven for foreign terrorists, two years after the UK forces left Kabul, a former Afghan commander said.
“I believe that the situation in Afghanistan is very critical and dangerous and it's going in a dangerous direction, which could be a civil war again, or which could be a split to Afghanistan because you see that in last two years Afghanistan has been controlled by the terrorists and it has fallen into terrorist hands,” Lt. Gen. Haibatullah Alizai, who was chief of staff for the army at the time Taliban took over Kabul in August 2021, said.
He is currently residing in the US and has launched an initiative to bring together Afghans outside the country.
Dissatisfied with the prevailing situation in Afghanistan, Alizai blamed the Joe Biden administration for abruptly leaving the war-torn country and its citizens at the mercy of the Taliban.
He said that the Taliban regime has resulted in an increase in the number of terrorist organisations in the country.
Even African terrorist groups like Al-Shabaab have established a foothold in Afghanistan and they have started training its militants. And everything is happening under the rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan, he alleged.
He said that Al-Qaeda is active in the region which is getting more and more active.
“This is the situation. Al-Qaeda is active. Daish is getting more and more active and a lot of resistance groups are being announced and established against the Taliban regime in different parts, which will of course lead Afghanistan to another serious civil war or possible split (of Afghanistan),” Alizai said.
The former commander said that Afghanistan is headed to become a safe haven for terrorists under the Taliban regime.
“I think the Biden administration made a big mistake at that time, or especially Biden himself. He had the opportunity to collect more information about Afghanistan and a little bit more deep dive into the situation in Afghanistan. But the decision was so prompt, so quickly and even without thinking deeply about the current situation that's going on in Afghanistan,” he said.
The former chief of staff for the army claimed that they told Biden about the situation on the ground, however, the US President did not listen to anybody.
“However, we as Afghans and his administration, some organisations like Intel organisations and military even they told him that this is going to be a chaos...because we were on the ground and we were watching everything from a closed lens. Unfortunately, he never listened to anybody, the administration didn't listen to anybody and the situation, now you see where is it?” he claimed.
“And if they don't listen after this as well, I can tell you that Afghanistan is going to be worse than even before 2001,” Alizai said in a tone of warning.
Alizai took command serving as 209th Northern Army Corps and later Afghan Special Operations Corps Commander. According to Alizai, the Taliban don’t control the entire country. The Taliban are in a worse position, he said.
There are four factions in Taliban: Kandhari Taliban, Helmandi Taliban; Haqqani group and those that went to Doha and did the negotiation with the US.
“Everyone is claiming power and some of the groups inside Taliban are not happy with the decisions that Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada is taking and how he is personalising everything for himself and just his own circle,” he said.
(With PTI inputs)