Mullah Umar death a temporary blow to peace talks: Analysts
KABUL (Pajhwok): Some analysts say the death of Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Umar Mujahid would leave negative impact on the nascent peace talks, but others believe that his demise would not derail the process.
Political affairs analyst, Younis Fakoor, said Taliban would explore new ways and focus more attention to make the negotiations process a result-oriented one under their new leadership.
Taliban had been divided into more groups and the new leadership would try to bring them under one command, he said, claiming that majority of militants commanders were interested to move the peace process forward.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News the first round of talks was held in the absence of Mullah Umar as reports claimed his death more than two years ago.
Meanwhile, a fresh round of peace talks between the militants and the Afghan government, planned for Friday in Pakistan, has been postponed, according to Islamabad.
A Foreign Office statement on Thursday said Taliban leadership had asked for postponement “in view of the reports regarding the death of Mullah Omar and the resulting uncertainty”.
But militants in a statement today appeared to be distanced themselves from the process, casting doubt over its legitimacy. Afghan government, however, expressed concern over halt of peace talks.
Dr. Faiz Mohammad Zaland, another analyst, said foreign countries particularly Pakistan wanted to get maximum benefit from the current state of affairs following the demise of Mullah Umar.
He said the neighboring country wanted to split the Afghan Taliban in different groups and choose one for negotiation with the government and tasked others to carry on with insurgency in Afghanistan.
But Wahid Muzdah, who has strong analytical knowledge about Taliban, said representatives from the militants side who took part in the first round of talks were not actual representatives of Taliban and did not have any links with Mullah Umar.
Now it was up to the government of Afghanistan to continue with the peace talks initiated by the Pakistani government or halt the process, he added.
He alleged Pakistan for deceiving Afghanistan and being not sincere in making the peace process successful.
Mir Mohammad Rohani, Member of the High Peace Council (HPC), said the demise of Taliban’s leader might delay the ongoing peace process in the short term, but situations would return to normalcy in the long term.
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