Jihadi Leaders Predict A Further Rift Among Taliban

atta-24-may-16

A number of prominent Jihadi leaders on Tuesday said they foresee further rifts developing among the Taliban, following the death of their leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour.

The analysts said they believe that a number of Mansour’s followers will likely mount terrorist attacks in a bid to give the impression that their leader’s death has not affected their activities.

Acting Balkh governor Atta Mohammad Noor said that according to his assessment, Taliban, after the death of their leader, would increase their activities in parts of the country, but further ruptures will appear among the group in the near future.

“Attacks will be likely launched in parts of the country to bring the issue of Mansour’s death under shadow… A number of Taliban fighters may join Mullah [Mohammad] Rassoul, some may join Daesh, others may go with Uzbekistan Islamic Movement or the East Turkistan Islamic Movement,” Noor said as he commented on Taliban’s future after the death of their leader.

He added: “A number of Taliban fighters may remain with the new leadership which would be appointed by them. Some of them [Taliban fighters] may decide to surrender to the Afghan government.”

Political figures meanwhile said they doubt Mansour died Saturday in a U.S drone strike and said they believe the leader was killed six months ago, but that his death was announced on this day in order to cancel a possible meeting between President Ashraf Ghani and the political commission of the Taliban in Qatar.

Ghani left Kabul for Qatar on Saturday, the same day as the U.S drone strike targeting Mansour took place.

“When President Ghani left for Qatar, he most probably was going to talk to the political commission of the Taliban, but news of Mansour’s death was spread to disrupt the meeting and it is a crime against the people of Afghanistan,” said Sayed Eshaq Gailani, head of the National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan.

“Now government should not care about the foreigners and should directly contact the Taliban,” he added.

He said he believes that former Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar’s son, Mullah Yaqub might step into Mansour’s shoes to lead the Taliban.

Meanwhile, Speaker of the Meshrano Jirga (Upper House of Parliament) Fazl Hadi Muslimyar called Taliban slaves of Pakistan and said they should renounce violence and join the peace process.

“As an Afghan, I want to say that Taliban are the slaves of Pakistan. Pakistan has tied them up, set them on fire, kills them and takes money from foreigners on them. I seriously call on them [Taliban] to come and join peace,” he said.

Political analysts said they believe that the United States should not stop at only killing Mansour; instead, it should continue its combat against Taliban and al-Qaeda in Pakistan.