Pakistan-based Haqqani network has increased its footprint in Afghanistan as its members are now present both in the west and northeastern regions of the country, said Rahmatullah Nabil, former head of the National Directorate of Security.
Nabil, who addressed panel discussion on Afghanistan-US relations under President Joe Biden’s administration hosted by the Afghan Institute of Strategic Studies, said that the meeting of Afghan political leaders with the Taliban in Moscow in 2018 was a mistake.
Nabil said that there is a big gap between the government and the public due to the current circumstances.
“Recruitment by Daesh has significantly increased,” Nabil said, adding that the status of the Haqqani network has expanded from limited geography to Badakhshan and Herat (in the north and south of Afghanistan).”
Meanwhile, Asadullah Saadati, the deputy head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, said that the Biden administration will pick the option of peace from two options of war and peace.
“There was a specific timeline for the withdrawal of US forces. It was May… This will also change,” Saadati said.
“I think the support will increase to democracy, human rights and the joint gains we have and the opposition to the comeback of an emirate. We have another four years to talk about these issues,” said Ahmad Shuja Jamal, head of the foreign affairs office of the National Security Council.
This comes as no meeting has been held between the Afghan Republic and the Taliban negotiators in Doha over the last 18 days. The Biden administration has meanwhile said that it is assessing the US-Taliban deal signed last year in Doha.