Taliban executes IS leader Abu Omar Khorasani one day after Afghanistan conquest

KABUL: Afghan Taliban, on 16 August, killed the former head of the Islamic State (IS) in South Asia and the Far East, Abu Omar Khorasani, soon after their take control of the Afghan capital Kabul.

Khorasani who was also known as Zia ul-Haq, was taken from an Afghan government prison and executed.

A photo of his body was later posted on social media.

Khorasani’s execution has been well received amid concerns about what the Taliban’s stance will be regarding the IS threat in the region.

On 18 August, senior Taliban leader Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa told the media that IS extremists are “deviant” and that their beliefs do not exist among any Afghan group.

During the interview, the Taliban leader also revealed that IS fighters are “more or less on the side of the government,” suggesting that the former Afghan administration used the terrorist group for intelligence purposes.

Khairkhwa went on to say that if IS had a headquarters in Afghanistan, then the Taliban would undoubtedly bring the fight to them.

These developments come as nations such as Iran, Russia and China have declared their readiness to contribute to the establishment of lasting peace and security in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s victory.

An official of this state in their various statement, have expressed “hope” that the Taliban would work to thwart terrorism afflicting the region.

Meanwhile, in an exclusive conversation with The Pakistan Daily, Velina Tchakarova Director at the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy (AIES) said, “China is already working on building relationships with all relevant actors in Afghanistan and, if necessary, accommodate the Taliban to discourage their support for Muslim Uighurs in China’s Xinjiang province.”

Velina Tchakarova. Source: Twitter

“Based on its concept of the ‘three evil forces’ of extremism, terrorism, and separatism, China is committed to cracking down on any activity that threatens to turn Xinjiang into a hotbed of Islamic extremism and terrorism, including the Islamic Movement of East Turkestan,” she added.

Belinda further stated that Beijing is likely offering economic incentives to the Taliban to guarantee their support for its BRI in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Islamic State’s (IS) growing presence in the north of Afghanistan is another concern. China will seek Russia’s help to prevent IS from destabilising Central Asia, a common geopolitical goal shared by both the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) and the Chinese-led Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

“The close relationship between China and Pakistan, as well as coordination between China and Russia, are key examples of fluid regional formations that can help China manage Afghanistan and incorporate it into its BRI and CPEC in the future. Against this background, the Taliban will seek international legitimacy from Moscow and Beijing and will seek to address their concerns regarding any terrorist activities on the ground that might have spillover effects towards China, Russia and Central Asia,” she said.

Raja Furqan Ahmed

Raja Furqan Ahmed is the News Editor of The Pakistan Daily.

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