Mullah Mansour- An uncomfortable Taliban commander
Islamabad, May 23: From the day Mullah Mohammad Akthar Mansour took over as Taliban chief, he had faced an uphill task. First and foremost he was replacing Mullah Omar who enjoyed a cult status in the Taliban. For Mansour the task was never easy.
First and foremost he took over amidst major opposition within the Taliban. The rebellion from within was led by Mullah Omar's son, Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob. To state briefly Mansour spent most of his time battling the Taliban commanders opposed to him. Mansour is believed to have been killed in a US air strike.
An unholy take over:
When the Taliban confirmed the death of Mullah Omar, there was a lot of succession talk. The death of Omar was a blow for the Taliban as he had largely managed to keep the entire force united. Following his death, it was said that the mantle would be borne by Omar's son.
However as the Mullah Yaqoob camp had put it, " the take over by Mansour was an unholy one." He had the backing of the ISI which made him the chief in a hurry. The Taliban since Mansour being made the chief was never a united outfit. It may also be recalled that during one of the meetings a majority of the Taliban commanders had stormed out in protest against Mansour.
Mansour did try hard at keeping the Taliban united. He did invite the warring factions and even offered good positions to Mullah Omar's family members. While there was some amount of sanity within the Taliban for the past couple of months the trust deficit was never eradicated completely.
Many within the Taliban had sought an explanation from Mansour regarding the death of Mullah Omar. They felt that he had concealed the death of Omar for too long. Moreover he was also putting recorded messages in the name of Omar which many in the Taliban believed was manufactured.
Taliban after Mansour:
Mansour's does leave a certain amount of void. The Taliban has had to cope with the death of two leaders in a very short span of time. The successor to Mansour is likely to be Sirajuddin Haqqani an Afghan guerrilla commander.
Haqqani the son of Jalalluddin Haqqani carries a 5 million bounty on his head. His father was considered to be a legendary warrior who battled the Soviet Union. Sirajuddin is considered to be ten time more ruthless than his father. He infact is responsible for several attacks in Afghanistan including the most recent one at Kabul which killed 64.