Afghanistan could face a war with the Islamic State group if the government does not resolve internal differences and improve the security situation, one of the country’s most powerful warlords warned in an interview with The Associated Press.
The Islamic State group, based in Iraq and Syria, is believed to have a small presence in Afghanistan, where the Taliban are the most powerful militant group and have been waging an insurgency against the government.
Ismail Khan, long a dominant figure in Afghanistan’s western province of Herat, told the AP that the numbers of IS supporters are growing because of the government’s divisions.
Seven months after taking office, President Ashraf Ghani has yet to appoint a Cabinet to introduce reforms that could boost economic growth, reduce poverty and create jobs. Khan, like many Afghans, attribute the failures to differences between Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, who was his opponent in the bitterly contested presidential election and became his partner in a national unity government under an arrangement brokered by the United States.
“The differences that exist in the national unity government . are helping to boost the enemies’ morale, the morale of Daesh and the Taliban,” Khan told the AP, using an acronym for the Islamic State group. “This has made people really very worried.”