Taliban claims no Daesh presence in Afghanistan a day after Badakhshan blast

Just one day after a Daesh-claimed blast in Badakhshan that inflicted heavy casualties on Taliban forces, the Taliban’s minister of vice and virtue claimed at a gathering in Panjshir province on Thursday that there are no Daesh fighters in Afghanistan.

Speaking at the gathering, he asserted that no one can prove Daesh’s presence in the country.

The event, titled “people’s assembly,” was held in response to widespread protests in Badakhshan.

Despite the Taliban minister’s denials, Daesh has repeatedly taken responsibility for several attacks over the past three years, including a recent magnetic mine blast targeting a Taliban convoy in Badakhshan, which killed three and wounded several.

Mohammad Khalid Hanafi, the minister of vice and virtue of the Taliban.

Mohammad Khalid Hanafi, the minister of vice and virtue, reiterated the claim, stating, “Currently, because of the great struggle of Islam, the great struggle of these soldiers and suicide bombers, there is no corrupt person or so-called Daesh member anywhere in Afghanistan. No one can prove it.”

Furthermore, Hanafi alleged that Afghanistan’s current system is inclusive, emphasizing that there is no need for a comprehensive government in the country.

Conversely, analysts suggest the Taliban are using Islam as a means to achieve personal and political ends. “When religion becomes a political tool and is used for maintaining power, it is the ultimate dictatorship of a ruling system. This means they do not believe in elections, inclusive government, or democracy; thus, these theocratic governments in the world have not succeeded and are set to collapse,” said Mohammad Hashem Danish, a political analyst.

At the same event, Qiyamuddin Hanif, head of the council of clerics in Panjshir, acknowledged government problems but noted he had been advised not to disclose them publicly. “If there are problems, it’s not from the side of the people. It might exist, that’s true. I don’t want to go into details. We have also been entrusted; consultation has been made with the governor on issues that are not from the people’s side but from the government side; I should highlight them in my pocket. But I brief the elders in private meetings that these issues from your side need to be fixed,” he said.

This gathering in Panjshir took place amid a riot following a demonstration against the Taliban in Badakhshan, a region with a history of public uprising against Taliban rule.