‘Akhunzada to face Mansour’s fate if rejects peace’
KABUL (Pajhwok): Reacting to the appointment of a new Taliban leader, the Afghan government on Wednesday said the Taliban should grab the chance of peace negotiations or their new leadership could meet the fate of his predecessor.
Three days earlier, the US announced Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Akhar Mansour was killed in a drone strike raid on his car in the Dalbandin area of Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province. However, the Taliban confirmed the loss of their leader in a statement on Wednesday.
The Taliban said they had chosen Maulvi Habatullah Akhundzada as their new leader and Maulvi Sirajuddin Haqqani and Maulvi Mohammad Yaqoob, son of Mullah Mohammad Omar, have been elected as Akhundzada’s deputies.
The government in reaction to the appointment of new successor to Mansour asked the rebels to cease carrying out suicide bombings and bomb explosions in their country, shun violence and join the peace talks.
Dawa Khan Minapal, deputy spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani, told Pajhwok Afghan News after the death of Mansour, now there was a good opportunity for the Taliban to shun violence and join the peace process.
He said insurgents were not secure nowhere in the world and the Afghan government wanted negotiate with and welcomed insurgents who were ready to join the peace process.
“The new leadership of Taliban if choose the path of peace, we are ready to negotiate with them and if not, we will fight them until they meet the fate like Mansour.”
Political analysts also say the current situation paves the way for the Taliban to join the peace process.
Lawmaker Shinkai Karokhel said the government should not pressure insurgents, who were under influence of Pakistan intelligence agencies, to join peace process.
Eng. Shirwali Wardak, another MP, citing intelligence reports said the Taliban’s ex-leadership had strong links with Afghan security forces’ leaders and wanted to shun violence and join the peace process.
“The commitment of the ex-leader to join peace was the main reason behind his killing. Appointing an extremist, Akhunzadah, is aimed at continuing the violence and insurgency and not to join the peace process.”
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