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Posted at: Aug 4, 2015, 2:03 AM; last updated: Aug 4, 2015, 1:58 AM (IST)

Taliban dissidents ‘launch’ parallel council amid rift

Declare themselves as the ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’

Sharif, army chief discuss Afghan situation

  • Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the army chief on Monday held discussions over the emerging Afghan situation amid a reported rift between different Taliban factions over succession after Mullah Omar's death
  • Pakistan is worried over the new developments, prompting Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif to brief the PM on the latest security situation in the region and its impact on Pakistan
  • The civil-military leaders discussed the overall security situation prevailing in the country and also reviewed the progress of the operation Zarb-e-Azb, Radio Pakistan reported. TNS
Taliban dissidents ‘launch’ parallel council amid rift

Supporters of ‘Jamaat-ud-Dawa’ offer funeral prayers for Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar in Karachi. AP/PTI

Islamabad, August 3

Amid a widening rift over succession following Mullah Omar’s death, senior Taliban leaders opposed to Mullah Akhtar Mansour’s nomination as the group’s supremo have launched a parallel council, according to a media report.

The senior Taliban members, opposed to Mullah Mansour’s ascendancy, yesterday launched their parallel ‘Shura’ or council and declared themselves as the ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’, the Express Tribune reported.

“A few people announced Mullah Akhtar Mansour as the new leader at a meeting where neither majority of the Shura members nor Ulema were invited,” the council said in a statement.

“They imposed Mullah Mansour’s leadership on the Islamic Emirate for vested interests,” it said.

The dissidents were quoted as saying that they would convene a meeting of the council members, Islamic scholars and national figures to elect a new chief.

Mutasim Agha Jan, the former finance minister and a close confidant of Mullah Omar, has also refused to submit to the leadership of Mullah Mansour, an official close to Mutasim told the daily.

Similarly, Mansoor Dadullah, who leads the Dadullah Front, has also refused to endorse Mullah Mansour’s election. Earlier, Mullah Omar’s family has also refused to pledge allegiance to Mullah Mansour.

Mullah Omar’s younger brother Mullah Abdullah Mannan, in an audio message recorded in the Pashto language, has demanded that a council meeting of pro-Taliban clerics and militant commanders be called to deliberate and resolve the challenge facing the group.

“Our family... has not declared allegiance to anyone amid these differences,” Manan said in the audio message.

Meanwhile, a clash broke out between the Taliban militants for the first time since the confirmation of Mullah Omar’s death.

The incident reportedly took place in western Herat province of Afghanistan today following a verbal clash between the militants regarding the appointment of the group’s new supreme leader, Afghanistan’s Khaama Press reported.

At least nine Taliban insurgents including a senior commander were killed during the infighting, the report said.

The militants were divided in two groups over allegiance to Mullah Mansour which led to the gun battle, it said. — PTI

Fears of a civil war

  • The appointment of new Taliban chief Mullah Mansoor has created a rift as some of the commanders have refused to owe allegiance to him, creating fears of a civil war involving rival militant factions
  • Mutasim Agha Jan, the former finance minister and a close confidant of Mullah Omar, has also refused to submit to the leadership of Mullah Mansour
  • Similarly, Mansoor Dadullah, who leads the Dadullah Front, has also refused to endorse Mullah Mansour's election
  • Earlier, Mullah Omar's family has also refused to pledge allegiance to Mullah Mansour
  • Mullah Omar's son Yakoub has also challenged Mansour's appointment as the Taliban supremo

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