The new leader of the Taliban is one Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, a seasoned veteran of the movement, but one who does not carry the support of many commanders or Mullah Omar’s family.
Crack has appeared in the Taliban rank since the death of their leader Mullah Mohammad Omar which was confirmed by Taliban outfit on Thursday.
A senior Taliban figure resigned Tuesday in the latest fallout from the death of longtime leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, which has triggered a succession dispute and revealed growing rifts within the two-decade-old Afghan insurgent group.
He said Mansour’s decision to send his delegation to the first official peace talks between Taliban and Afghan government representatives last month in Pakistan had bypassed Agha, the head of the negotiating team in Qatar. Mullah Omar’s son Mullah Yaqub and several other top leaders and council members are unhappy with the decision to name Mansoor as supreme leader.
The footage is seen as an attempt to bolster support for Mullah Mansour, whose appointment has been questioned by some senior Taliban members.
The resignation comes at a time when splits among the Taliban are apparent over the election of Mullah Akhtar Mansoor as Mullah Omar’s successor.
The video, which can not be independently verified, was included in a report on the Taliban website on Monday and shows a large crowd gathered at the funeral of a religious scholar.
Mullah Omar rose to power in the 1990s, leading the Taliban to victory over rival Afghan militias in the civil war that followed the failed Soviet occupation.
A statement from the National Directorate of Security said public gatherings to commemorate Mullah Omar’s death would be a “legitimate military target”.
Underscoring the deepening internal divisions, Tayeb Agha stepped down on Monday as head of the Taliban’s political office, set up in Qatar in 2013 to facilitate peace talks.
But Mansour is going to struggle to hold the movement together, according to FP, because Mansour lacks the legitimacy Omar had as a perceived “leader of the faithful”.
Similar claims in the past have always been denied, retracted or ignored, but this time the Taliban confirmed that he was dead. Some Talibs objected vigorously to Mullah Omar’s hosting of Osama Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda foreigners.
Qadir further added that the “opposing Taliban and Pakistan had a hand in his killing”.
“Mullah Yaqub, the son of Mullah Omar, was killed a couple of days ago”, the Daily Outlook reported quoting lawmaker Zahir Qadir.
A fractured Taliban might, in theory, pose less of a threat to the Afghan government. The Afghan public was outraged when Ghani, on his visit to Pakistan last November, drove straight from the airport to the army’s Rawalpindi headquarters and met General Sharif, even before meeting his counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, in Islamabad.
Earlier, the Taliban office in Doha distanced itself from the Pakistan-brokered peace talks.