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Taliban deputy PM Mullah Baradar and Haqqani minister clash again, this time over cricket board chief

Taliban deputy PM Mullah Baradar, one of the founding members of the Taliban and once seen as the likely head of a Taliban government, had not been seen in public for some time. (File Photo)

The Taliban’s deputy prime minister Mullah Baradar and Interior Minister and chief of terror outfit Haqqani Network Sirajuddin Haqqani have clashed again– this time over the control of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB).

On Saturday, Sirajuddin Haqqani got an order signed by Prime Minister Mullah Hassan Akhand for replacing the present chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board Azizulla Fazil with ex-Afghan cricketer Mirwais Ashraf with immediate effect.  ACB officials issued the notification as well.

However, when the Haqqani-appointed new chairman Mirwais Ashraf went to the ACB office to take charge, armed supporters of Baradar beat him up and did not allow him to take charge.

Baradar’s men stormed the office, beat up officials and also forced the staff of the board to delete all posts regarding the appointment.

The current chairman Azizulla Fazil is with the Afghan cricket team in Dubai and there is no official word on the issue by the Taliban regime.

“Two parallel camps in Afghanistan Cricket Board. One ordered to dismiss ACB chairman Azizullah Fazi but then the other camp not only opposed it but stormed the ACB office and forcefully made them delete the social media announcement! So Azizullah Fazli is still the chairman of the board,” says Asif Khan, a journalist in his post on Twitter. 

Azizullah Fazil was reappointed as the chairman of the Afghanistan Cricket Board by Mullah Baradar after the group captured the country.

That was the time when Mullah Baradar was tipped to be the head of the Taliban’s new government. But internal conflicts took an ugly turn during the formation of the government and after being shot at by Haqqanis, Baradar fled to Kandahar. He was made the deputy Prime Minister while the lion’s share of the government posts went to Haqqanis.

Also Read : The mystery of Taliban’s missing Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Baradar

Anas Haqqani, the younger brother of Sirajuddin Haqqani sacked the executive director of Afghanistan’s cricket board, Hamid Shinwari and appointed his relative Naseebullah Haqqani.

It was a clear message for the Baradar that Haqqanis want to control the ACB.

According to Afghan journalists, Haqqanis are very powerful and they would not sit quitel.

“The Haqqani network tried to replace Fazli, the head of the Afghanistan Cricket Board, with a written order from Mullah Hassan. In response, Mullah Baradar and Ibrahim's militants attacked the Afghan Cricket Board office. @ACBofficials Deleted a tweet from the Twitter page about the new appointment. Situation is close to an armed conflict,” writes Afghan journalist Sami Yousafzai.