Sher Ab­bas re­places Tayyeb Agha as Tal­iban's chief ne­go­tia­tor

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

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.

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