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Haqqanis imposing their radical will on Afghanistan

When Afghan Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani showed up at a police trainee ceremony on March 6, the warlord turned politician’s first public media appearance made global headlines and sparked new speculation about the emerging post-war balance of power inside the country.

While the notorious Haqqani network leader is still officially wanted by the US FBI on terror accusations, the minister’s stepping out from the shadows showed to some his radical faction’s strengthening hold over the Taliban-led government after seizing power by force last August.

The Haqqani network’s fighters were crucial to the Taliban’s military victory and represent the government’s most war-hardened, semi-autonomous faction. The network has been blamed for some of the deadliest attacks during the war, including through its frequent and wanton use of suicide bombers, and is known for maintaining close ties with terror group al Qaeda.