Top Taliban political chief resigns over Mullah Omar replacement

“The Taliban’s top political chief in the group’s office in Qatar has resigned over the replacement of former leader Mullah Omar, who the militant Islamist group recently admitted was dead.”

“In a statement, Syed Tayyab Agha said he resigned from the Afghan Taliban to avoid “expected future disputes” because of the way Mullah Akhtar Mansour was chosen to replace Omar, adding that it was “a great historical mistake” that the appointment was influenced in part by some associated with the Pakistani government.”

“Tayyab Agha, who previously served as Omar’s personal secretary, also said that the Taliban should handle all of its affairs within Afghanistan and criticized the fact that Omar’s death “was kept secret for almost two years.”

“The resignation points to an apparent split in the group, as key figures in the Taliban are also divided on whether they should seek peace with the Afghan government and how they should go about possibly ending the 14-year war.”

“A meeting of Taliban and Afghan officials, in what would have been considered the first step in a peace process, was scheduled for Friday in Pakistan but was delayed by the report of Omar’s death.”

“Omar founded the Taliban in the 1990s, and stayed out of public view since the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan by a U.S.-led coalition.” (Coordiantion Center)


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