Terror Groups Continue to Thrive under Taliban in Afghanistan – UNSC Report

A new report from the United Nations Security Council says that foreign terrorist organisations continue to enjoy safe haven under the new Taliban regime. The report adds that these terrorist groups are in consolidation mode and not likely to launch major attacks outside Afghanistan before 2023. This may be due to financial constraints and political pressure not to embarrass the Taliban internationally at this juncture.

Two India-focussed terrorist groups, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba, are reported to have training camps in Afghanistan. While the Jaish-e-Mohammed has 8 training camps in Nangarhar, three of which are directly under Taliban control, the LeT has 3 camps in Kunar and Nangarhar. Both the terror groups have close links with the Taliban leadership, with the Lashkar-e-Taiba providing finance and training expertise to Taliban operations.

The UNSC report says that the al-Qaeda has 180-400 terrorists from many countries, which includes nationals from Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and Pakistan.

The report exposes the internal division in the Taliban, between different ethnic groups, and the extent to which Shariah is imposed in the country. While one bloc wants working relationships with foreign partners, the hardliners who are pro-Shariah have little interest in international relations. The rivalry between the Tajik, Uzbek and Pashtuns factions within the Taliban has come to the fore after more Pashtuns got into leadership positions.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, the largest component of foreign terrorist fighters in Afghanistan, benefited the most from the Taliban takeover. Presence of terror groups in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime is a matter of grave concern for neighbouring countries and the wider international community, says the report.

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