Taliban appoints first Shia Hazara as Shadow District Chief to attract support
The move is being seen as an attempt to attract the support of Shia Hazara Community.
The Taliban, for the first time, has appointed a Shia (Shi’ite) Hazara as the shadow district chief of the group. The move, which came as a surprise to the world, is being seen as an attempt to attract the minority community’s support.
The persecuted Hazara community has been targeted, massacred, and murdered on a large scale after the Taliban came into power in Afghanistan in the mid-90s. However, now the group is trying to gain their support ahead of intra-Afghan peace talks.
“The Taliban has never been an inclusive force; their leadership in Quetta and Peshawar and their political office in Doha are run by Sunni Pashtuns. They have had token Tajik commanders in the field, particularly in the north, but now they are trying to include some token Shia Hazaras in the mix,” said Sabir Ibrahimi, who is an Afghan security analyst and research associate at New York University’s Centre on International Co-operation.
The Taliban have recently recruited Tajiks and Uzbeks, but now, they are also trying to include ethnic Hazaras to portray themselves as a nationwide and inclusive movement.
The Taliban group introduced their new shadow chief Mawlavi Mahdi as a ‘Shia brother’ in a video message released last week. They also urged the Shia community to join hands with them in their fight against the United States, which they referred to as “Jewish and Christian invaders”.
What are your views on this? Share with us in the comments bar below.