Afghanistan has been attacked yet again and it is a clear signal that there is no unity among the Taliban. Announcing the death of Mullah Omar appears to have done more harm than good and as the Taliban themselves rightly state, "there cant be any peace unless there is unity."
The Taliban's peace talks with the government of Afghanistan was on the right track.
However, the talks were postponed after the death of Mullah Omar was announced and this appears to have dealt a blow. The Taliban which was already battling splits is divided further today with a leadership crisis looming large.
With or against Pakistan:
Pakistan had a major role to play in appointing Mullah Mansoor as the new chief of the Taliban. While at the memorial services of Mullah Omar it was expected that his son Mullah Yakoob would be told to don the leadership, many were taken aback when Mullah Mansoor was announced as the new leader. From the day the name of Mullah Mansoor was announced, it was clear that peace would be derailed in Afghanistan.
There is clearly a power struggle within the Taliban today and the Mullah Yakoob faction will not let Mullah Mansoor function. In other words, the ISI backed Mullah Mansoor will not be allowed to talk peace with the Afghanistan government.
Security experts say that there is a faction within the Taliban which was appointed during a gathering at Quetta in Pakistan. This group is perceived to be very close to the Pakistan establishment. However the problem is that this faction faces stiff opposition from the faction run by Mullah Yakoob.
Mullah Mansoor backs the peace talks with the Afghanistan government. However Mullah Yakoob and his men oppose this as they feel that being seen close to Pakistan does more harm than good to the Taliban.
In an apparent effort to appear tough and unite the movement, the new Taliban chief, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, who had effectively run the group since 2010 and was seen as a backer of peace talks, released a message Aug. 1 calling for "jihad until we establish an Islamic state." He said any talks would have to comply with Shariah law.
Mullah Mansoor faces stiff opposition:
The trust factor for Mullah Mansoor is diminishing. Those with Mullah Yakoob feel that he is playing along with the ISI and this is not good for the Taliban. Security analysts say that unless and until the entire Taliban is brought on board there can be no chance of peace.
The recent spate of attacks which Afghanistan has witnessed in the past week all appear to be a result of a split within the Taliban. The Afghanistan government too has admitted that it has no control over the Taliban and could only hope that they can bring the group on board to talk peace. Pakistan too shares the same view, but it is to be seen now whether it can influence the entire Taliban leadership to come under one roof and talk peace.
Announcing Mullah Omar's death was a bad move:
Many feel that the announcing of Mullah Omar's death was wrongly timed. Look at the disarray the announcement of this news has caused. The peace talks were underway and ought to have been completed before the news of his death was announced.
However there was a great deal of unrest within the Taliban. Mullah Mansoor the new leader of the Taliban had practically run the outfit since 2010. However there was growing unrest among those members opposed to Mullah Mansoor which was threatening to blow up into a full fledged problem. This could be one of the reasons why a secret kept for so many years was made public especially at a time when the peace talks were on.