Taliban succession games: What it means for India

The world was taken by surprise recently when it was announced that Mullah Omar, the undisputed and feared leader of Taliban, had died two years ago in a Karachi hospital. Taliban Spokesman Zabhiullah Mujahid confirmed the report, but disputed that Mullah Omar died in a Karachi hospital, saying that he never left Afghanistan after the US attack in 2001. Mystery over circumstances and location where Mullah Omar died will continue to persist, though everyone is in agreement that the Taliban supremo is no longer alive.

Even before the formal announcement of Omar’s death, sources in Taliban had begun telling journalists that Mullah Akhtar Mansoor had been chosen as the successor. He was reportedly elected as emir at a consultative meeting of the group after news of Omar’s death became public.

Mansoor was earlier Omar’s deputy and headed the Taliban’s seven member consultative council. Khalifa Sirajuddin Haqqani, the son of chief of Haqqani network, Jalaluddin Haqqani, and former deputy chief justice during Taliban era, Maulvi Haibatullah, were named as Mansoor’s deputies.

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