Sher Abbas replaces Tayyeb Agha as Taliban's chief negotiator
ISLAMABAD: A senior Taliban leader, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, took over on Wednesday as the acting chief of the group's political office in Qatar and pledged allegiance to the newly elected supremo, Mullah Akhthar Mansoor.
The appointment comes a day after the head of Taliban's political office in Qatar, Sayed Tayyeb Agha, resigned citing differences over the election of the ultraorthodox militia's new supremo Mullah Akhtar Mansoor. "I and other members of the Political Office of the Islamic Emirate declare allegiance to the honourable Mullah Akhtar Mansoor. We consider this decision in accordance with Islamic Sharia and will follow his instructions," Stanekzai said in a statement. "We assure our full support to the new chief," the statement added.
Stanekzai's appointment will put a pause on the longstanding tensions between Tayyeb Agha and Mansoor and their understanding could help in the peace process. Taliban officials said that Tribune that the new leaders are "not in a hurry" to resume negotiations and will first focus on organisational matters. "There is also a strong opinion among the leaders to opt for indirect talks instead of direct negotiations," a Taliban leader said. Stanekzai's appointment is said to bring an end to the longstanding tensions between Tayyeb Agha and Mullah Akhtar Mansoor and their understanding could contribute to the peace process.