New Delhi, Aug 28: The ISIS has not been finding the going smooth in Afghanistan. The ease with which it decimated the al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria, one would have expected that the ISIS would make major gains in Afghanistan as well.
However, the ISIS seems to be failing in Afghanistan due to strong resistance from the Taliban.
There are various reasons why the ISIS has not been able to replicate in Afghanistan what it did in Iraq or Syria.
The new found resolve of the Taliban under Mullah Mansoor and also the weakening of the ISIS cadre killed in drone strikes are some of the reasons why the march in Afghanistan has not gone the way it would have expected to.
The Taliban resistance:
One expected the Taliban to break up into several splinter groups after the death of Mullah Omar was announced.
However, today there seems to be a new resolve within the Taliban led by Mullah Mansoor which has made the ISIS extremely difficult.
The Islamic State group had ambitious plans for Afghanistan, but Taliban resistance, US drone strikes, and a society less scarred by sectarianism mean the extremists have so far failed to repeat their Middle Eastern breakthrough.
Coupled with the new found enthusiasm are the increasingly number of drone strikes which have claimed the lives of several ISIS fighters in Afghanistan.
These strikes have in fact helped the Taliban advance and regain control which had lost in several parts of the country.
The recent killing of Hafiz Saeed, the ISIS chief in Afghanistan was a major blow to the outfit. Saeed after being appointed as the ISIS chief in Afghanistan had shown a great deal of progress.
He had in fact managed to unite a large number of splinter groups of the Taliban and coaxed them to fight under the banner of the ISIS. However after his death in a drone strike, the splinter groups are back to square one fighting among each other.
Moreover, with these groups splintered, the Taliban has managed to take advantage and beat them down. These are some of the crucial factors that have worked contrary to the ambitions of the ISIS which was looking to make its presence felt in Afghanistan.
The brutality has not worked:
The ISIS which has thrived largely on brutality has failed to impress the people of Afghanistan. The videos of people being beheaded and mass killings have paid dividends to the ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
However the people of Afghanistan have shunned such brutality and violence and termed it un-Islamic.
The Taliban too had come out openly and condemned such acts of brutality by the ISIS. The brutality by the ISIS has in fact worked against them and several locals have pledged their support to the Taliban instead.
The Taliban has also condemned these acts by the ISIS as un-Islamic and even termed the outfit cruel who kill without reason.
Tough days for the ISIS:
With hopes of setting up an Afghanistan Caliphate becoming a distant dream, the ISIS is most likely to do some soul searching.
The ISIS realizes how strategically important claiming control over Afghanistan is.
For starters the ISIS would look to replace Saeed as the outfit continues to be leadersless in Afghanistan today.
Moreover, it would hope that the Taliban splits into two as there are signs of a power tussle today. Several within the Taliban were unhappy with the appointment of Mullah Mansoor as the chief. Mullah Omar's son, Mullah Yakub had expected that he would be told to head the Taliban.
The Taliban at the moment appears to be united, but everything could change if Mullah Yakub leads a rebellion against Mullah Mansoor.
If this were to happen, then it would benefit the ISIS a great deal. However, the Taliban today is keeping aside all differences in a bid to ensure that they remain united.