Ali M. Latifi of Al Jazerra writes, Khalil Ur-Rahman Haqqani, who was designated a terrorist under Executive Order 13224 more than 10-years ago, and has a reward of $5 million is now in charge of security for Kabul. He continues (abridged):
Khalil Ur-Rahman Haqqani, a leading Taliban figure currently in charge of security for Kabul, has echoed the group’s claims that “all Afghans” should feel safe under their Islamic Emirate, and that a “general amnesty” has been granted across the nation’s 34 provinces.
Speaking to Al Jazeera on Sunday, Haqqani, whose associates are also taking a leading role in establishing security in the capital, said the Taliban is working to restore order and safety to a nation that has seen more than four decades of war.
“If we can defeat superpowers, surely we can provide safety to the Afghan people,” Haqqani, who is also a veteran of the Afghan-Soviet war, said.
Many Afghans are sceptical that a leader of the Haqqani Network, known to be the most brutal and violent group associated with the Taliban, will bring security to Afghanistan after 40 years of war and violence – especially as reports of house-to-house searches and violence allegedly committed by the Taliban continue to pour in, including in Kabul.
Haqqani is still labelled a “global terrorist” by the United States, with a $5m bounty for him issued by the US Treasury Department in February 2011, and he remains on a United Nations terrorist list.
Haqqani’s statement also comes as thousands of people continue to try to get into Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, where Taliban, intelligence forces and US soldiers are actively trying to keep crowds desperately trying to flee the country from entering the premises.