The Taliban administration has slammed a United Nation’s Security Council report as “baseless and biased.” The report termed the Afghan government as “highly exclusionary” and “repressive.”
The report, which was published earlier this month by the UN Security Council’s Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, said the Taliban administration bodies remain “highly exclusionary, Pashtun-centered, and repressive” of all kinds of resistance.
It further claimed that, Kandahar’s return as the center of authority, as it was under the first authoritarian regime in the 1990s, circumvents senior Taliban officials in Kabul, the present administration’s seat of authority, due to the manner decisions are taken.
The findings however stated that, there have an internal dispute within the group, over critical policies, power centralization, and control of Afghanistan’s financial and natural resources. The ongoing power battles could further destabilize situation, to the point where armed conflict between opposing factions would be a clear risk, the report continued.
Moreover, at least two Kabul-based spokespersons have been instructed to relocate to Kandahar in recent months. This has sparked concerns about power transition from Kabul to Kandahar, where the supreme ruler Haibatullah Akhunzada is stationed.
In April, the Taliban’s main spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, was requested to work from both locations, while another official spokesman for the interim administration, Innamullah Samangani, was sent to Kandahar. The Taliban’s propaganda ministry provided no explanation for the shift.
However, Mujahid dismissed the report’s “accusations” of tensions as false, saying they are showing “obvious hostility” to Afghans. Claims of discord among the leaders of the group, he continued, are an extension of the deception of the previous 20 years, referencing the 20 years of US war and invasion.
“The Security Council’s publication of such biased and baseless reports does not help Afghanistan or international peace and security; rather, it increases worry among Afghan people.”
Since taking over the country in August 2021, its leadership has tightened restrictions on press freedom and rights for women, with girls’ secondary school remained closed. Officials from the Taliban first vowed to open the schools following an infrastructural update to enforce gender segregation, but the group has since clamped down on women’s rights, prohibiting women from attending universities and working.
According to analysts, directives like as those prohibiting women and girls from attending school or working came from Kandahar, the Taliban chief’s stronghold. Some Taliban commanders have spoken out in support of women’s empowerment, claiming that Islam ensures women’s right to study and labor.
The Taliban chief, Akhunzada, was characterized as “reclusive and elusive” in the report, and he had complex safety protocols in place while having conferences.
It further claimed an anonymous UN Security Council member state as saying Akhunzada endured two bouts of COVID-19, which had left his lung function weakened alongside his current kidney difficulties, raising the possibility that senior Taliban members are patiently awaiting for his condition to lead to natural succession.
“Hibatullah has been proudly resistant to external pressure to moderate his policies,” the June 1 report said. “There is no indication that other Kabul-based Taliban leaders can influence policy substantially. There is little prospect of change in the near to medium term.”
In recent days, the Taliban has pushed to prohibit all foreign organizations from the education sector, a decision that the UN secretary-general’s chief spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, described as another “horrendous step backward” for Afghans. The Taliban has not yet responded to the education NGO’s move.
Following the Taliban takeover in August 2021 and its subsequent financial meltdown, aid organizations have been offering food, education, and healthcare to Afghans.