Taliban leader Mullah Omar died in a Karachi hospital in 2013, says Afghanistan

Published: July 29, 2015
Taliban leader Mullah Omar. PHOTO: REUTERS

Taliban leader Mullah Omar. PHOTO: REUTERS

KABUL: Supreme leader of the Afghan Taliban Mullah Omar died suffering from tuberculosis two years ago in a Karachi hospital, Afghanistan’s top intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) confirmed on Wednesday.

“The Afghan government has received confirmed reports that Mullah Omar died nearly two years ago in Karachi,” NDS spokesperson Abdul Haseeb Siddiqui told BBC Pushto. “We are happy that now the foreign sources have also confirmed that Mullah Omar is no more alive.”

“We still have a lot of questions how Mullah Omar died,” he said, adding that, “We have been told that the Taliban leader died owing to an illness.”

The deputy spokesperson for the Afghan President also confirmed that Mullah Omar had died in 2013.


“The government of Afghanistan believes that grounds for the Afghan peace talks are more paved now than before, and thus calls on all armed opposition groups to seize the opportunity and join the peace process,” the statement added.

Earlier, a former Afghan Taliban minister and member of the central leadership council had revealed to The Express Tribune that Mullah Omar had died owing to Tuberculosis, however, he had not disclose the location of his death.

“Mullah Omar died two years and four months ago owing to Tuberculosis. He has been buried on Afghan side of the border,” the former minister had said on the condition of anonymity.

Further, he added, “Mullah Omar’s son had identified the body of his father.”

Read: Afghan Taliban release Mullah Omar biography amid growing frustration within ranks

Meanwhile, some Afghan government officials told the media in Kabul that the Pakistani government has also conveyed to them that Mullah Omar has died.

The Taliban have not yet commented on reports of Mullah Omar’s death, however, they are mulling a formal response to be release later today.

Read: Mullah Omar endorses ‘political endeavours and peaceful pathways’

Mullah Omar’s successor

The disclosure came as reports of the Afghan Taliban chief’s death sprung up yet again when the Afghan Taliban summoned a meeting on Wednesday to elect a new chief after some leaders of the militant group confirmed Mullah Omar’s death.

The former minister also disclosed that he was invited to attend the meeting.

Taliban sources told The Express Tribune that consultations for a new leader are under way and a successor will be announced before the next round of peace talks scheduled to be held in Pakistan on July 31.

Read: Afghan reconciliation: Mullah Omar’s aide likely to join peace talks

It is widely speculated that Mullah Baradar Akhund will succeed Mullah Omar as the supreme leader of the Afghan Taliban.

Mullah Omar had appointed Mullah Baradar and Mullah Ubaidullah Akhund as deputy leaders while he was alive.

Mullah Ubaidullah died in a jail in Pakistan, according to the Taliban which leaves Mullah Baradar next in line.

Mullah Baradar was reportedly released by Pakistan along with some other Taliban leaders in 2013; however, some Taliban leaders still insist he has not been allowed to rejoin his family.

Read: Doubts and divisions among commanders as Taliban talk peace

Some Taliban leaders told The Express Tribune that Mullah Baradar enjoys the support of Sayed Tayyab Agha, the head of the Afghan Taliban’s political office in Qatar.

Tayyab Agha himself was a close confidante of Mullah Omar. Further, sources say that Mullah Yaqub, the son of Mullah Omar, is also in favour of Mullah Baradar succeeding his father.

Read: Mullah Omar endorses Taliban peace talks

Other Taliban sources say that the incumbent Taliban acting chief Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, a former aviation minister, is also among the few aspiring for this position. However, sources added that Mansoor’s position in the Taliban has been widely damaged for spreading news of Mullah Omar’s death.

Read: The Taliban in Afghanistan

Another choice for Mullah Omar’s successor could be Mullah Yaqub, his son. Yaqub recently graduated from a religious school in Karachi. However, several Taliban leaders are of the view that Yaqub is too young and may be ‘unsuitable’ for the post. A Taliban leader told The Express Tribune that Mullah Omar never wished for someone from his family to succeed him.

Mullah Omar’s brother Mullah Abdul Manan has also been actively involved in Taliban affairs in recent years.

Afghanistan investigating reports of Mullah Omar’s death

An Afghan government official said that a press conference had been called on the subject of Taliban leader Mullah Omar, amid rumours of his death.

The official, who declined to be named because he was not authorised to give statements to the press, did not provide further details.

Further, the Afghan government is investigating reports of the death of Taliban supremo Mullah Omar, a presidential spokesman said.

The announcement from spokesperson Sayed Zafar Hashemi came after unnamed government and militant sources told media that the one-eyed leader died two or three years ago.

“We have seen reports in the media regarding the death of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar,” Hashemi told a press conference.

“We are investigating these reports… and will comment once the accuracy of these reports are confirmed.”

The elusive leader of the militant group, which ruled Afghanistan in the late 1990s until it was toppled by a US-led offensive in 2001, has not been seen in public for years, leading to speculation he has been dead for some time.

The Taliban has been fighting an insurgency against the Western-backed government in Kabul since its ouster, killing thousands of civilians and security personnel and making significant territorial gains in recent months.

Tentative peace talks have begun aimed at ending the war, with the Taliban split between those who support dialogue and others who want to continue to fight for power.

Ex-Taliban minister denies Omar died in Pakistan

A former Taliban minister, while confirming that supremo Omar was dead, rejected assertions that he died in Pakistan.

“[He] died at his home in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan.”

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Reader Comments (20)

  • Blister
    Jul 29, 2015 - 2:41PM

    What a bummer! It seems that everyone knew! Except of course the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan who continue to be played by internal and external manipulators for their petty gains and of course how can I forget “National interest” the chestnut that the people are hit with every time an illegal action needs to be made halal.Recommend

  • Jawad Zafar
    Jul 29, 2015 - 2:45PM

    A sad day indeed. He fought all of his life to free his country from the clutches of intruders. And undoubtedly, he has succeeded in his coarse as none of his enemies ever have had a clue of his whereabouts. From an unknown location, he has been steadily leading an army of the faithful.

    May Almighty be Pleased with him. Ameen.Recommend

  • common sense
    Jul 29, 2015 - 2:49PM

    “Mullah Baradar was reportedly released by Pakistan along with some other Taliban leaders in 2013”

    Before anyone gets passionate, it should be noted, he was released at the request of the Afghanistan government (Karzai era).Recommend

  • Indian
    Jul 29, 2015 - 3:05PM

    Isn’t Mullah Baradar the same person who was arrested in Karachi few years back by ISI but not handed over to Americans despite persistent demands and kept in protective custody. Well, good job by ISI by planting their stooge as new Taliban chief to control Afghan affairs, kudos. Recommend

  • Shuaib
    Jul 29, 2015 - 3:41PM

    Well this guy should have focused more on peace than war. It’s unfortunate that the Taliban exists to begin with but what’s even sadder is that they destroy other people’s lives doing things they had no right to.Recommend

  • Javaid Luqman
    Jul 29, 2015 - 3:56PM

    Mullah Omar was a monster who created a monster organization that has done bad for our region and the world. Good riddance. May peace come back to this land, Aameen.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jul 29, 2015 - 4:50PM

    One eye Satan cannot die. He is very much alive in millions of Afghans and Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Gullu
    Jul 29, 2015 - 5:34PM

    I wonder what sort of organization structure they have that they didn’t even notice when their leader died. They seem to be operating in cells with little contact with members of their org outside of their cell.Recommend

  • Observer
    Jul 29, 2015 - 6:01PM

    As long as people like Jawad Zafar continue to put murderers like Omar on a pedestal and religious mantle, there will be problems. Get out of your mindset and see the world. Its not just for the faithful and khalifa’s .Recommend

  • bigsaf
    Jul 29, 2015 - 7:30PM

    @common sense:
    Yes he was released, but he was arrested in the first place because he independently held talks with the Afghan govt earlier. Despite his whereabouts being known by Pak he wasn’t arrested before until those peace talks develped where Pak coincidently swooped in and put a temporary end to it. Recommend

  • A Pakistani
    Jul 29, 2015 - 7:49PM

    @Jawad Zafar @Ch. Allah Daad people like you are whats wrong with the world. Mullah Omar was no hero, he was a monster no less than Bin Laden and Hakimullah Mehsud. He fought against the Soviets not to ‘free’ his country but further push it into darkness. The Taliban rule in Afghanistan was the worst time of Afghanistan, oppressed/raped/killed women, massacred minorities, killed 100s and thousands, stoned to death people in sport stadiums while they made people watch them bleed to death like its entertainment. You should be grateful that you did not have to live in those times, maybe peoplelike you only understand true freedom only after living the life of the enslaved. Recommend

  • Azmat Ali
    Jul 29, 2015 - 8:11PM

    The fault does not lie with the religion or with its pursuance. If everyone is left alone to practice their religion the way they wish to and no one forces the other to abide by their definition of the religion ONLY, there will be no such issues in this region. Mullah Umar was a good man when he fought the intruders that tried to take over his country and nation, by force. He became a true nuisance, when he attempted to create a piece of land where he can force people to accept his way of life and religion. Within limits, everyone must be left alone to practice whatever they want to. Within limits, society can dictate the general norms, but cannot interfere in one’s beliefs and their right to express them publicly, without the fear of a terrible backlash. What’s kosher for me is not kosher for many others. Just because there are more of my type living around me, I or those like me, cannot be given the authority to dictacte my religion upon others, whether individually or even as a the majority.
    If my brethren want to continue Mullah Umar’s fight, then change your goals towards an accepting, open and honest Islamic society that allows and even appreciates the many differences in our beliefs. If you do that, you’ll find me standing behind you 100%. Recommend

  • samir
    Jul 29, 2015 - 8:50PM

    Do not understand the timing. If everyone knew, who is the audience for the news and who is breaking it?Recommend

  • Liberal
    Jul 29, 2015 - 9:50PM

    The timing of the breaking of this news is very important. this news is another tactic employed by India to derail the peace talks between Afghan Govt and the Taliban. We are aware of the close ties between Indian and Afghan intelligence.Recommend

  • Anurag
    Jul 30, 2015 - 12:02AM

    @Azmat Ali : 100% agree with you. Religion must be a personal affair and the Talibani way cannot be accepted. However, it is very dangerous that your voice is a minority in Pakistan. Comment from @Javed Zafar get 100 recommends and your comment just 1(as I write the comment)…Well +1 from me and may your tribe grow strongerRecommend

  • Ut Patang
    Jul 30, 2015 - 12:54AM

    Mullah Omar died in Karachi, in the same way as Dawood Ibrahim has been residing in Karachi for the past 20 years and was recently discovered living in London. Now you can understand from where this news has been fed.Recommend

  • yjs
    Jul 30, 2015 - 1:30AM

    Take my words.
    One day white house will announce that Osama bin Laden died 20 years back due to kidney failure. Recommend

  • awais
    Jul 30, 2015 - 6:03AM

    dead or alive, afghans n americans are desperate to negotiate with them. Rumors have been circulating for a while. Nothing stops with a death of one man. if not Omar it will be some one else.
    Million dollar question is, if he is more brutal than him?Recommend

  • Raw News
    Jul 31, 2015 - 10:52AM

    Zawahiri is also in Pakistan and head of the Quetta Shura.Recommend

  • Czar1
    Aug 1, 2015 - 10:41PM

    @Raw News:
    and destablising Baluchistan on the behest of RAW. LOL!Recommend

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