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The post-Mullah Akhtar Mansoor scenario

May 26, 2016 - 11:16
Election Articles

After the death of Mullahinfo-icon Mansoor the regional dynamics facing new challenges in term of fighting war against terrorism for USA, NATOinfo-icon, Pakistaninfo-icon, India ,Russia, Iran and China. The complexity about peace process with Talibaninfo-icon is widening after the death of Mullah Mansoor in a drone attack inside Pakistani territory along with a Pakistani passport. The drone attack took place in Baluchistan area near Iranian border, presumably he was returning from Iran. Later on officially Iran rejected the news and said that Mansoor was never visited Iran.

The deepening covert cooperation between Tehran and the Afghan Taliban under Mansoor seemed to be driven by threats posed by the emergence of the Islamic State in Afghanistaninfo-icon since early 2015.The emergence of ISIS in Afghanistan is the main reason for cooperation between Taliban and Iran. But Iran has also other strategic stakes in Afghanistan. Tehran is keen on keeping the Taliban from becoming a close ally of its regional archrival, Saudi Arabia.

Pakistan is once again facing serious questions and scrutiny from international and regional stakeholders for its cooperative role with those elements which are posing threat directly to the worldinfo-icon peace. Apparently Pakistan always shows himself a non-NATO and front-line ally in war against terrorism but the incidents all the time tell different story. Afghanistan incessantly lodge complains about Pakistan covert support with insurgent groups which Pakistan always denied. Pakistan on the other side forward counter argument blamed Kabulinfo-icon for providing sanctuary to the TTP leaderships somewhere in border area Nuristan and Kunar provinces while also feel worry about the increasing Indian role.

President Obama hailed Mullah Mansoor death “an important milestone” and a “game changer”. One of the arguments which generally circulated in most of the media reports after Mansoor death that he was the most irreconcilable leader. But the Question is that will the next Ameer will be comfortable in the reconciliation.

Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution think-tank said Mansour's death may only "modestly" help the US effort in Afghanistan. The war has been going on for so long, the Taliban has so many leaders and so much ability to function at the local level even without strong central guidance, that we would be well advised to keep expectations in check, he said.

There are different reports about his personality but most of the expert believed that Mansoor was very astute political maneuverer among all Taliban leader. He was also deeply involved in black empire trade on transnational level. Even then the United Nations, as well as the Afghan government, has described Mullah Mansour as a leader of a cartel rather than an insurgency. On the current year of May 20, AFP Kabul Bureau Chief Anuj Chopra in his article “Lance with love': Afghans revel in bountiful opium harvest” said that “Fighting usually ebbs during the harvest season, illustrating how the Taliban are deeply entwined in the $3 billion opium trade, believed to be the mainstay of their insurgency against the government”.

A serious Pakistani liberal English newspaper daily Dawn also very interestingly explained the post Mansoor scenario in its editorial under title “Lessons from Chabahar”. The editorial quoted that “On the day when Pakistan struggled to find the words with which to register its reaction to the killing of Mullah Akhtar Mansour in a drone strike on its soil, the leaders of India, Iran and Afghanistan were preparing to meet in Tehran to finalize an agreement. The latter will take economic cooperation between the three countries to a new level.”

On the same day Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, seated between his Afghan counterpart and the Indian prime minister, spoke in a televised address following the signing of a transit accord in which he said, “from Tehran, New Delhi and Kabul, this is a crucial message ... that the path to progress for regional countries goes through joint cooperation and utilizing regional opportunities”.

Now it is crystal clear that the current perspective is generating a fresh challenge for Pakistan. Afghan Foreign office must take full advantage of the time and take more tough position on Quetta Shurra and Haqqani Networkinfo-icon. Pakistan is getting towards more isolation because of its late ambiguous position about Mansoor death. Pakistan has also protested over the drone strike on its territory. Pakistan always opposed the drone strike on the name of collateral damage and violation of its territorial sovereignty.

Some Pakistani liberal security and regional experts are also suggesting to the establishment and GHQ for change in foreign policy towards Afghanistan. But unfortunately the security mind-set had gone too far narrow while dealing with Afghanistan and India. As now Pakistani retired three star general and security analyst Talat Masood itself accept their on narrow security thinking, he says that “Nothing would be better for both Afghanistan and Pakistan than to resolve their differences peacefully through direct negotiations in a spirit of give and take. This should be the rational approach for winning mutual confidence and reducing outside interference. In any case, with regional and global pressures, this evolution has to come sooner or later”. But he also put very interesting question to their own limited thinking and says that “The question here is how those forces in Pakistan that saw the Afghan Taliban as an asset and as a preferred means to protect our interest in Afghanistan would perceive this evolution in the future.”


View expressed in this article are of the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Pajhwok’s editorial policy.


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The writer is a master degree holder in English Literature and working as a Free-lance writer. He can be reached

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