Quoting a report by the Wall Street Journal, Khama Press reported that there were key members of the Taliban among the students who were given scholarship opportunities to study in India.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Ahmed Wali Hakmal, now a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Finance, was a key member of the Taliban at Kandahar University and was later sent to study human rights at Aligarh Islamic University in India.
Similar Taliban cells operate in other major Afghan cities. In Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second-largest city, university lecturer Ahmad Wali Hakmal said he repeatedly asked Taliban leaders for permission to join the armed struggle against the US-backed government after he completed a bachelor’s degree in Sharia law, the Wall Street Journal reported.
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“I was willing to take the AK-47 and go because no Afghan could afford to invade their country,” he recalls. “But then our elders told us no, don’t come here, stay there, work in universities because these are also our people, the media and the world is deceiving them about us,” the report said.
He said, “The Taliban sent Hakal to India to obtain a master’s degree in human rights from Aligarh Islamic University. When he returned to Kandahar, he was focused on recruitment and propaganda for the Taliban. After the fall of Kabul, he became a leader.” Taliban.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that Taliban secret agents – often clean-shaven and wearing jeans and sunglasses – have spent years infiltrating Afghan government ministries, universities, businesses and aid organizations.
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Then, as US forces were completing their withdrawal in August, these agents emerged from the shadows in Kabul and other major cities across Afghanistan, surprising their neighbors and colleagues. They pulled their weapons out of hiding and helped the Taliban quickly seize control from within, the report said.
The pivotal role played by these secret cells is only now becoming clear, three months after the US withdrawal. At that time, Afghan cities fell one after another like dominoes with little resistance from the US-backed government forces. The report said Kabul collapsed within hours without firing a single shot.
“We had agents in every organization and department,” boasted Mawlawi Muhammad Salim Saad, a senior Taliban leader who led suicide operations and assassinations inside the Afghan capital before its fall. The Wall Street Journal reported that “the units we were already in Kabul took control of the strategic sites.”
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Saad’s men belong to the so-called Badri Force of the Haqqani Network, which is part of the Taliban that the United States designates as a terrorist organization because of its links to al-Qaeda. “We had people even in the office I’m in today,” he said, sitting in front of a bank of CCTV screens at the Kabul Airport Security Command Center, which he now oversees.
The 20-year war in Afghanistan has often been seen as a fight between gangs of Taliban insurgents – bearded men operating from mountain hideouts and Afghan and US forces. However, in the end the game was won by a large underground network of urban activists.
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