Taliban Shura select New Chief

Taliban Supreme Council (Shura) has selected Maulavi Haibatullah Akhwand as new Taliban emir following the death of Mullah Akhtar Mansour in a US drone strike in Pakistan .

Photo of the new Taliban emir Maulavi Haibatullah verified by Taliban spokesman

Maulavi Haibatullah Akhwand courtesy nunn.asia.

Afghan Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid officially confirmed the death of their leader (Emir of the Faithful) Mullah Akhthar Mansoor in a drone strike last month.

The newly selected Emir, Maulavi Haibatullah Akhwand is 47 years old and hails from the Kandahar’s Spin Boldak district. He was involved in Maulavi Khalis, the anti-Soviet “Islamic Party” during the Russian invasion era of Afghanistan.

Akhwand remained General Secretary for the Military Court of “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”—the Taliban’s regime in 1990s. He’s is, therefore, said to be highly experienced in Islamic studies as well as militancy.

The Taliban spokesman called upon his comrades to pay their “allegiance to Maulavi Haibatullah Akhwand the new Emir of the Faithful” and announced a three days formal mourning period for the departed soul of Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, the former Emir.

Two deputies for the new Emir are named as Sirajuddin Haqqani and Mullah Muhammed Yaqoob. Haqqani is the son of Jalaluddin Haqqani and is believed to be running head of the Haqqani Network. Yaqoob, is the the son of the Taliban regime founder head Mullah Muhammad Omer, whose death was announced in 2015.

The earlier Taliban chief proved to be a reluctant for peace dialogue and rejected reconciliation with Kabul until the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan.

It was believed that the next Taliban could be from the Haqqani Network as they are having more of an impact in Afghanistan. Despite this, analysts think Sirajuddin Haqqani could be influenced by Pakistan’s master spy agency, ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence).

Former Chief of Afghan Intelligence NDS (National Directorate of Security) Rahmatullah Nabil was cited in BBC Pashto report stating “Sirajuddin Haqqani” would be more deadly for Afghanistan if given space as Emir of the Taliban.

imgpsh_fullsizeMalik Achakzai

Malik Achakzai covering, Afghanistan, Pakistan, politics, culture, development, relations, climate change and religions. Having master in Mass Communication from University of Balochistan, have worked for several media organizations including Voice of America, United Press International, The Friday Times, Afghanistan Times, Daily Times Pakistan, News Lens Pakistan as freelancer for last 8 years. @AfghanJourno