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Taliban expected to name Mullah Mansour’s successor today

Taliban expected to name Mullah Mansour’s successor today

May 24, 2016 - 21:53

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok):The Talibaninfo-icon leadership council is expected to name the movement’s new supreme leader on Tuesday (today), a Pakistaninfo-icon-based newspaper reported.

Since Mullahinfo-icon Akhtar Mansour’s death in a US drone strike on Saturday, the ‘Rehbari Shurainfo-icon’ has been holding consultations on nominating a consensus leader.

The Express Tribune quoted a Taliban leader privy to the discussions as saying the consultations were in the final stage. The nomination could not be made immediately as members of the leadership council could not meet at one place due to security concerns.

“A final decision can be taken today and the new leader formally announced in a couple of days,” one Taliban member told the daily. The Taliban are trying to avoid a controversy similar to that surrounding Mansour’s election.

It quoted an unnamed participant of the meeting as saying: “I was among nearly 50 Taliban who have been contacted to share their opinion as to who should be the new chief.”

Maulviinfo-icon Haibatullahis supervising the consultation process while Maulvi Hedayatullah, former ministers Maulvi Nooruddin Turabi, Amir Khan Muttaqi and Maulvi Matiullah are members of the consultation team.

Mullah Yaqoob, the elder son of Mullah Omar, is the ‘most likely’ choice for the highest position, enjoys a great deal of support. Yaqoob, less than 30 years, is in charge of military operations in 15 provinces.

Sirajuddin Haqqaniis another candidate for the slot, but Kandahari Taliban may oppose his election. Many founding members of the group, including Mullah Omar and Mansoor, belonged to Kandahar.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who is still languishing in a Pakistani jail following his detention in a Pakistan-US raid near the port city of Karachi in 2011, and Maulvi Haibatullah are also being considered.

PANinfo-icon Monitor/mud

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