Xinhua Chinese Newspaper
July 1, 2015
Amid ongoing efforts of the Afghanistan government to bring the Taliban militants to the negotiating table and find a workable solution to the country’s lingering crisis, militants loyal to the Islamic State (IS) group, also known as Daesh, have surfaced in parts of the militancy- plagued country and have started recruiting fighters.
The newly emerged IS fighters in their latest waves of violent operations have challenged Taliban militants in parts of the country, including the eastern Nangarhar province.
Reports said leaflets have been posted on walls of mosques in the far-flung areas of Nangarhar by IS militants, ordering women not to come out of their houses except when accompanied by close relatives.
IS militants have reportedly fought several times in parts of Nangarhar and Nuristan provinces over the past couple of months.
According to Afghan observers, the Afghan government has clearly stated that the peace talks would be held with Taliban who renounce violence and are willing to accept the country’s constitution.
“Since Daesh group has recruited extra-orthodox and most extremist Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, their presence in the country would definitely complicate the government-initiated peace process,” political watcher Khan Mohammad Daneshjo told Xinhua in a recent interview.
According to the analyst, Taliban fighters who have not seen Taliban elusive leader Mullah Omar over the past several years and are against national reconciliation have switched allegiance to the Islamic State.
To pressure the government, the Daesh fighters, besides confronting security forces, have also abducted more than three dozen passengers of vehicles over the past couple of months in the southern region. They have demanded that the government free Taliban prisoners in Afghan jails in exchange for the release of the abducted passengers.
In a recent swap, the government had set free over two dozen foreign detainees, all of them women and children, after the militants released 19 kidnapped victims.
Reports also said Daesh fighters have reportedly been involved in the war against the government in the northern Kunduz and Badakhshan provinces bordering Tajikistan.
Although the government has avoided admitting that Afghanistan has already been infiltrated by Daesh fighters, First Deputy to the Chief Executive Mohammad Khan on Sunday said Daesh presence in Afghanistan is now a reality.
“Taliban fighters and commanders in some places of Afghanistan have changed their white flag to Daesh’s black flag and began fighting under the Daesh banner,” Khan told reporters at a press conference.
A series of meetings have been held between Taliban representatives and Afghan elites from outside the government over the past year; the latest was held in Norwegian capital Oslo, with the objective to exchange views on how to find a political solution to the country’s protracted crisis but these were all in vain.
“Daesh emergence in Afghanistan and its violent policies could further complicate the peace process even before it has taken shape,” Deneshjo said.
Another political analyst Atiqullah Omar, in talks with local media,echoed the sentiments expressed by Deneshjo by saying there is virtually no hope for the peace process with the presence of the Daesh in Afghanistan.