Afghan Taliban Commander Anas Haqqani, During Prince Harry's Tour Of Afghanistan: 'Mr. Harry! The Ones You Killed Were Not Chess Pieces'

January 9, 2023

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Senior Afghan Taliban commander Anas Haqqani – who was brought to Qatar from an Afghan prison in November 2019 to help facilitate the U.S.-Taliban talks that resulted in the signing of the 2020 Doha agreement – recently lashed out at Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, for claiming in his memoir Spare that he had killed 25 Taliban members during his deployments in Afghanistan.

Prince Harry, who now lives mostly in the U.S., was deployed to Afghanistan for several months in 2008, 2012, and 2013. In January 2013, British media had quoted him as saying that he had killed insurgents during his four-month tour of Afghanistan.[1]

A screenshot of Anas Haqqani's first tweet

Anas Haqqani was released from an Afghan prison against the wishes of the government under then president Ashraf Ghani in exchange for two captives held by the Afghan Taliban – American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks. Anas Haqqani, a terror commander, is a younger brother of Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is on the FBI's Most Wanted list and chief of the Haqqani Network, the deadly unit within the Afghan Taliban known for a major terror attack on U.S. Embassy in Kabul.[2] At present, Sirajuddin Haqqani is the Taliban government's interior minister, while Anas Haqqani is among the most influential persons inside and outside the government in Kabul.

After Prince Harry's book was leaked in Spain five days before its scheduled release on January 10, 2023, Anas Haqqani tweeted: "Mr. Harry! The ones you killed were not chess pieces, they were humans; they had families who were waiting for their return. Among the killers of Afghans, not many have your decency to reveal their conscience and confess to their war crimes."[3]

Haqqani's two other tweets read: "The truth is what you've said; Our innocent people were chess pieces to your soldiers, military and political leaders. Still, you were defeated in that 'game' of white & black 'square'"; "I don't expect that the ICC [International Criminal Court] will summon you or the human rights activists will condemn you, because they are deaf and blind for you. But hopefully these atrocities will be remembered in the history of humanity."[4]

Anas Haqqani went on to say in an interview that during his deployment in Helmand province, no Taliban mujahideen were killed, meaning that those killed by Prince Harry were civilians, not combatants: "We checked and found that the days on which Prince Harry is mentioning the killing of 25 mujahideen, we didn't have any casualties in Helmand... It is clear that civilians and ordinary people were targeted," Anas Haqqani told Al-Jazeera.[5]

A screenshot of Anas Haqqani's tweets.


[1] (UK), January 21, 2013.

[3], January 6, 2023.

[4], January 6, 2023.

[5], January 7, 2023.

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