Khalil Haqqani emerges as aKey Player in the Evolving Afghan Situation
24 August 2021,
He has a $5 million bounty on his head and a triumphant grin on his face. The US Treasury Department’s head money for Khalil-ur-Rahman Haqqani has lost much of its significance in Afghanistan’s fast-changing circumstances. Khalil, a scion of the feared Haqqani Network, is not an ordinary man, despite his medium frame of 5 ft 4 inches and a characteristic thick beard. He is the younger brother of the late Jalaluddin Haqqani and the uncle of Sirajuddin Haqqani, who was also designated a terrorist by the United States in 2008.Following the fall of Ashraf Ghani’s regime, Khalil is now a key figure in the formation of a new Taliban government in Kabul. He’s a well-known gun enthusiast, and when we met, he was holding a black American M4 Corbin rifle. He had his first interview with a foreign media outlet last week.
Khalil is meeting with key opponents in an attempt to persuade them to either join the Taliban or accept them. His first major success came when Hashmat Ghani, the brother of self-exiled Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, declared his support for the Taliban. Khalil went to see him at his home on Kabul’s outskirts. Both families are already acquainted. I drew his attention to the fact that people in Kabul are afraid, and as a result, they are not coming to work.
He is of the view that Islam is a peaceful religion. The Emirate-e-Islami will not exact vengeance on anyone, and the enemy is spreading fear. The change in the system was the source of our resentment. People should not leave the country now that the system has been changed yet again. Everyone should live here and contribute to the well-being of the people of this country. We are Kabul, Tajik, Baloch, Hazara, and Pashtun brothers.Because Haqqani is preoccupied with the formation of the government, he is aware of the security threat to his life. He is guarded by the Badri Brigade, a Taliban team of 30 members. He arrives in a bullet- and bomb-proof Land Cruiser, accompanied by his security team.