Today marks the 10th anniversary of the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by American special forces in 2011 in Pakistan, but the Afghan government says that the roots of the network are still alive in Afghanistan and the group still poses a threat to the country and the world and is collaborating with the Taliban.
But the Taliban has rejected any type of relations with al-Qaeda.
The US presence in Afghanistan over the last 20 years was due to the existence of al-Qaeda. US President Joe Biden last month said the US has achieved its objectives in the Afghanistan war.
“Right now, al-Qaeda and Talib are not two different ideologic topics; they are beyond that as they have intermarried within their families,” NDS chief Ahmad Zia Saraj said last week.
The question that arises is how can al-Qaeda pose a threat to Afghanistan and the world while its leader was killed ten years back?
“Al-Qaeda was not owned by bin Laden,” said Atiqullah Amarkhil, a former military officer. “Al-Qaeda is still active in Afghanistan and anyone who says that we have eliminated al-Qaeda--they are lying.”
The Afghan government sees the Taliban’s ties with al-Qaeda as a key challenge in the way of the peace process.
“Even though the Taliban has agreed with the US to cut ties with al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, al-Qaeda is still fighting among the Taliban,” said Rahmatullah Andar, spokesman for National Security Council.
Meanwhile, Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, said Saturday the often-fractured Afghan political leadership must unify in its peace talks with the Taliban or risk more bitter fighting as the US and NATO withdraws, AP reported.