Kabul, Aug 3: The appointment of Mullah Akthar Mansoor as the new Taliban chief is not good news for India. His appointment as the head of the Taliban after the death of Mullah Omar was announced has not gone down too well with Intelligence agencies in India who refer to him as a stooge of the ISI.
India believes that the ISI had big hand to play when it came to appointing Mullah Mansoor as the Taliban chief. Indian Intelligence agencies tell OneIndia Mullah Mansoor's appointment has the backing of both Pakistan and China which have ensured that the Taliban talks peace with the Afghanistan government.
While peace talks in Afghanistan are a welcome move, the problem for India is the proximity that Mullah Mansoor shares with the Pakistan based terrorist groups.
Why Mullah Mansoor is bad news for India?
Mullah Mansoor has shown keen interest in Kashmir. He has addressed jihadis fighting in Kashmir several times over video conferencing. The Taliban is expected to be used by Pakistan in a big way in Kashmir now that Mullah Mansoor is at the helm of affairs.
When the Khandahar or the IC-814 hijack took place, Mullah Mansoor was the Civil Aviation Minister who was present at the airport in Afghanistan to receive Maulana Masood Azhar.
The hijackers had demanded that Azhar be released in exchange for the passengers on that ill-fated flight. All along it was Pakistan which was controlling the operation and they ensured that the plane landed in Afghanistan so that the Taliban was made to do all the talking.
While Mullah Omar was consulted all the time when negotiators from India were speaking, it was Mullah Mansoor who was the face of the Taliban.
Mullah Mansoor has no mind of his own
Mullah Omar unlike his successor had an opinion of his own. Former Chief of the Research and Analysis Wing, C D Sahay says that there were a few demands that the hijackers had made which were shot down by Mullah Omar.
The demand to exhume and send to Pakistan the body of a Kashmiri terrorist and the ransom sought by the hijackers were both rejected by Mullah Omar as he felt that they were anti-Islam.
However, the same cannot be said of Mullah Mansoor. He is a stooge in the hands of the Paksitan's ISI and his proximity to the terrorist groups which are anti India is worrisome.
The fact that the Afghanistan government is desperate to talk peace with the Taliban is something that the ISI would take advantage of. Mullah Mansoor will do exactly as the ISI says and this is worrisome for India in the long run.
Will the Taliban remain united
A splintered Taliban is beneficial for India. Currently there are signs of the Taliban uniting under Mullah Mansoor who is a stylish leader who never leaves home without his Raybans. There appears to be some amount of sanity in the Taliban ever since the clarity regarding the leadership emerged.
India however points out that this calm will be very short lived and there is a good chance of trouble emerging in the Taliban. The trouble India expects would come in the form of Yaqoob, the eldest son of Mullah Omar.
He was thought to be the natural choice to succeed his father. Although the official line towed by the Taliban is that he is too young to take over, the fact remains that the ISI has ensured that Mullah Mansoor was chosen over Yaqoob as the former was their mouth piece.
The other bit of trouble that one could see emerging in the Taliban is from the Doha wing of the Taliban. The Doha unit acted as the foreign office of the Taliban and was attempting peace talks with the Afghan government.
However, they appear to be sidelined and this may not go down too well with them. There is every chance of them engineering a split with the help of Yaqoob.