Ottawa: Anti-Taliban forces might gravitate towards Islamic State-Khorasan if the Taliban fail to contain the current bombing spree by the ISIS-K terrorists, said a Canada-based think tank.
In recent weeks, Afghanistan has witnessed a significant increase in terror attacks especially suicide bombing by ISIS-K terrorists. This has become a cause of concern for the Taliban which seized power in August this year and is scrambling to gain recognition from the international community.
The International Forum for Right and Security (IFFRAS) has said the ISIS and its Afghan affiliate, ISIS-Khorasan, is snapping at the Taliban's heels and the latter are saddled with the negative public relations debris.
"Nearly 10 weeks after coming to power, the Taliban find themselves in a fix; they cannot sever their ties with al-Qaeda, they are involved in an internecine war with ISIS-K, and both these factors are hampering progress on three key fronts," the think tank said.
The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating and along with that, the security situation has worsened since the Taliban took control of the country.
Officially, the Taliban continue to insist that fighters of neither al-Qaeda nor ISIS-K are present in Afghanistan. They do not even acknowledge that any terrorist group is behind the various attacks in recent times.
Taliban spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, rejected accusations that al-Qaeda maintained a presence in Afghanistan and repeated pledges that there would be no attacks on third countries from Afghanistan from militant movements.'We do not see anyone in Afghanistan who has anything to do with al-Qaeda'.
Mujahid is also quoted as saying about the other group: "The ISIS that exists in Iraq and Syria does not exist here. Still, some people who may be our own Afghans have adopted the ISIS mentality, which is a phenomenon that the people do not support."
The ISIS-K terrorists are well-equipped with arms and are adept at planning strategic and coordinated attacks, the think tank said.
"Notwithstanding the Taliban propaganda, the terror situation is quite grave in Afghanistan. The ISIS-K embraces a more violent version of Islam than the Taliban and are quite organised in their areas of influence," IFFRAS said.
"They are well-equipped with arms and are adept at planning strategic and coordinated attacks. If the current bombing spree continues and the Taliban continues to fail to contain them, there is a fear of other anti-Taliban forces gravitating towards ISIS-K, threatening the Taliban further. What is worse, unlike the Taliban, ISIS-K commanders are better able to handle and use the tons of American military equipment and weapons left by the Americans," it added....