Haibat­ul­lah Akhundzada ...

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

said the body of their slain chief was taken to Afghanistan on Tues­day and he was laid to rest in Spin Boldak dis­trict of Kan­da­har.

Maulvi Haibat­ul­lah Akhundzada, be­lieved to be around 60 years of age and a mem­ber of the pow­er­ful Noorzai tribe, hails from Kan­da­har a south­ern prov­ince of Afghanistan. He was con­sid­ered as close aide to the Tal­iban’s found­ing leader Mul­lah Omar.

While this time the supreme coun­cil of Afghan Tal­iban was quick enough to name its new chief and con­firm the killing of its leader Mul­lah Man­sour , took it years to pro­nounce the death of their founder chief Mul­lah Mo­ham­mad Omar who re­port­edly died in 2013. The Tal­iban have con­firmed his death in the year 2015 and ul­ti­mately ap­pointed Mul­lah Mo­ham­mad Akhtar Man­sour in the last week of July 2015. How­ever, Mul­lah Man­sour faced op­po­si­tion from the very first day from a group of Tal­iban in­clud­ing the fam­ily mem­bers of his pre­de­ces­sor Mul­lah Umar who think his appointment was not made ac­cord­ing to Shariah.

Mean­while,the of­fi­cial spokesman for the Afghan Tal­iban said on Wed­nes­day that an au­dio tape pur­port­ing to be from newly named leader Haibat­ul­lah Akhundzada re­ject­ing peace talks was not is­sued by him and was not from the new in­sur­gent chief.

Ear­lier it was re­ported that Tal­iban’s newly ap­pointed leader vowed there would be no re­turn to peace talks with the govern­ment, in an au­dio record­ing pro­vided by the group days af­ter a U.S. drone killed his pre­de­ces­sor, Mul­lah Akhtar Man­sour, in Pak­istan.

“No, no we will not come to any type of peace talks,” the man, iden­ti­fied as Haibat­ul­lah Akhundzada, said in the record­ing pro­vided by the Tal­iban’s of­fi­cial spokesman.

Tal­iban com­man­ders had pro­vided the au­dio to re­porters late on Wed­nes­day, say­ing it was an of­fi­cial state­ment. One of the com­man­ders said he had re­ceived the record­ing di­rectly from Zabi­hul­lah Mu­jahid, the of­fi­cial spokesman who ear­lier an­nounced Akhundzada’s el­e­va­tion. Mu­jahid later is­sued an email from his of­fi­cial ac­count deny­ing the move­ment had is­sued an au­dio.

Reached by tele­phone, Mu­jahid said the Tal­iban were launch­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion to learn who was dis­tribut­ing the record­ing.

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