Al-Qaeda is still "heavily embedded" within the Taliban in Afghanistan despite the commitments the Taliban made after signing a peace agreement with the United States, a senior UN official said as quoted by the BBC this week.
Quoted by the BBC, Edmund Fitton-Brown, coordinator of the UN's Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and Taliban Monitoring Team, said the Taliban and the al-Qaeda are still conducting joint military training in the country and that their ties are still strong and remained unchanged.
Under the peace agreement, the Taliban committed to enforcing mechanisms that will prevent the use of the Afghan soil by any group or individual against the security of the United States and its allies.
The Taliban also pledged to cut all ties with all terrorist groups including al-Qaeda.
“The Taliban’s cooperation and their reluctance to cut ties with al-Qaeda and dozens of other terrorist groups indicate that the group does not have any commitment for the peace process,” presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.
“Al-Qaeda provides financial and military assistance to the Taliban, in exchange, the Taliban provides sanctuaries to the group in Afghanistan,” said Jawed Jawed, a political analyst in Kabul.
Local officials said there are still clues and credible evidence that foreign fighters are battling alongside the Taliban in various provinces of the country which has also resulted in a dramatic increase in the level of violence.
“There are various terrorist groups in Badakhshan who have ties with al-Qaeda and Daesh. They operate in Raghistan, Nusai and Darwazha regions,” Badakhshan governor Zakaria Sawda said.
But a Taliban spokesman Zabiuhllah Mujahid has said that the group was still committed to the contents and all provisions of the US-Taliban peace accord, stating that they will not permit foreign fighters to exploit Afghanistan’s soil against any nation.