Afghanistan under Taliban rule: Reports of a major brawl between the...

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Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar

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Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar

Senior Taliban officials told the BBC that a major dispute had erupted between Taliban leaders, over the composition of the new government.

They said that an altercation between the group’s co-founder, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, and a member of the cabinet, took place at the presidential palace in Kabul.

There have been unconfirmed reports of rifts within the Taliban leadership, since Mr. Baradar disappeared from public exposure in recent days.

A Taliban source told BBC Pashto that Baradar and Khalil-ur-Rehman Haqqani – the minister for refugee affairs and a prominent figure in the hardline Haqqani network – exchanged strong words, while their followers quarreled with each other nearby.

The sources said the altercation erupted because Baradar, the new deputy prime minister, is not satisfied with the make-up of the interim government.

The disagreement was said to stem from divisions over who should be credited with the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan.

Mr. Baradar reportedly believes the focus should be on diplomacy by people like him, while members of the Haqqani group – run by a senior Taliban figure – and their backers say this has been achieved through the fighting.

“We thank the world”

Today, the Taliban thanked the world for pledging hundreds of millions of dollars in emergency aid to Afghanistan, and urged the United States to show “sympathy” with the impoverished country.

A donor conference in Geneva on Monday concluded with pledges of $1.2 billion to help Afghanistan, which the Islamist militant group seized last month in a lightning attack that surprised the withdrawing US forces.


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The Taliban pledged to deliver aid to those in need with complete transparency

Afghanistan, already largely dependent on aid, is facing an economic crisis with the new authorities unable to pay salaries and food prices soaring.

Amir Khan Muttaki, acting foreign minister of the Taliban government, said in a press conference on Tuesday that the Taliban will spend donor money wisely and use it to alleviate poverty.

Mottaki said: “We thank and welcome the world’s pledge to provide about one billion dollars in aid, and we ask them to continue their assistance to Afghanistan. The Islamic Emirate will do its utmost to deliver this aid to the needy with complete transparency.”

In parallel, hundreds of demonstrators in the southern city of Kandahar – the spiritual birthplace of the Taliban – protested against the plan of the new rulers to evacuate people from their homes.

The protesters are from a neighborhood inhabited by former Afghan army soldiers – most of whom are women, widows of soldiers killed in battles against the Taliban over the past 20 years, or wives of wounded soldiers.

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