Mullah Omar’s family declares allegiance to new Taliban chief

Former chief’s son and brother end their opposition to Mullah Mansoor


Our Correspondent September 15, 2015
Taliban leader Mullah Omar. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: The son and brother of deceased Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Omar have pledged allegiance to the group’s new chief Mullah Akthar Mansoor.

Last month, soon after Mullah Mansoor had been elected to succeed Mullah Omar as Taliban chief, the former supremo’s son Mullah Yaqoob and brother Mullah Abdul Manan had refused to accept him. They insisted that Mullah Mansoor was “not elected by a majority of the leadership council members and religious scholars,” and had empowered a separate group of religious scholars to decide on a new leader.

“Mullah Abdul Manan, the brother of the late commander (Mullah Omar), and Mullah Yaqoob, son of the late commander have declared their allegiance to Mullah Akhtar Mansoor on behalf of their family,” read a Pushto-language statement from the Taliban sent to The Express Tribune on Tuesday.

Yaqoob and Manan had been eyeing the position for themselves, but a former Taliban minister said that they had compromised after Mansoor offered Manan a position in the new set-up.

“Mullah Omar’s son and brother told a gathering of senior leaders of the Islamic Emirate (the Taliban name for their group) and religious scholars that delay in pledging allegiance to the new chief did not mean that they had differences over the leadership as the Islamic Emirate is like a family.”

The statement further quoted Yaqoob and Manan as saying that Mullah Omar had entrusted Mansoor with an important responsibility during his life and “we have decided to cooperate with him since he now has more responsibility on his shoulder.”

Despite this victory for Mansoor, it is unclear whether other dissidents too had decided to drop their opposition to Mansoor. Spokesman for the rivals, Abdul Manan Niazi, declined to receive calls.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2015.

COMMENTS (1)

Shakeel | 6 years ago | Reply The Taliban should unite under one leader and work towards peace in Afghanistan. Generations of war has not bought Afghanistan betterment.
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