Since Taliban took control of Kabul last August, Ever since they took control of Kabul last summer, they have sought to assure neighboring countries that Afghanistan is open for business and that they can protect investments.  Islamic State (IS) terror group is complicating that sales pitch.

Thus, Eurasianet says the terror group’s local branch Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) sees Tashkent’s ambitious to build a railway across Afghanistan that would connect Uzbekistan to ports in Pakistan and link Central Asia to new markets as a devious scheme by non-Muslims to drag Afghanistan into the modern world.   ISKP has reportedly vowed to kill anyone working on it.

ISKP has been fighting the Taliban since around 2015.  As part of its recruiting pitch, ideologues argue that the Taliban are not true Muslims.  According to Eurasianet, ISKP alleges that the new rulers in Kabul – the “Taliban 2.0” – have now cooked up, in concert with Tashkent, “a secret agreement against Islam.”

The pro-ISKP Tavhid Khabarlari channel has reportedly likewise alleged the Uzbek government uses the Taliban as proxies to realize its railway project and dreams of export routes to the subcontinent.

It is not only the trans-Afghanistan railway in the terror group’s crosshairs.

ISKP-linked social media accounts are pouring scorn on the prospective Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project.  For example, Eurasianet says pro-IS propaganda outlet Anfaal Media last November said the Taliban, by working with foreigners to resurrect the decades-old plan, was “protecting the interests of the enemies of Allah in Afghanistan.”  The Taliban, cognizant of the potential risk posed by the likes of the ISKP, then promised to provide 30,000 troops to guard the pipeline.