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Disgruntled Taliban and peace talks

The death of Mullah Omar, the figurehead of the Taliban, who led the Taliban movement since 1994 and the sporadic attacks in Kabul in recent weeks dashed the hopes for peace talks to ground. Now every second brain that is concerned with peace, thinks that is peace possible given the current circumstances? Is the future of peace talks promising? The disgruntled brother of the late Mullah Omar warned of infighting. Is it the repeat of 1990s episode when the Mujahideen leaders were busy in infighting? Perhaps yes, but not in the same way as it was in 90s. Up to the extent of infighting and switching sides the Taliban will remain at war as their symbol of unity is dead, but as the government, the people and the international community are concerned, then this in no way is the replay of 90s. Now this is up to the government how it exploits the deepening ruptures among the Taliban leaders. There are some moderate Taliban leaders as well, who don’t oppose the role of women in politics. And there are some Taliban leaders who look at Pakistan with disdain. They consider Pakistan an untrustworthy country which could do anything for its national interests. They still have a grudge why did Islamabad hand over their ambassador Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef to the United States. He was detained by Pakistani authorities in early 2002 and held until 2005 in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. The United Nations delisted from terrorists list in July 2010. Pakistani media reported Tuesday that Mullah Abdul Manan, the brother of the deceased Taliban supreme leader, Mullah Omar, has warned that if the new Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, and his rivals don’t settle their differences soon there will be infighting. Many analysts in Kabul believe that peace talks have become quite tiring as the government wouldn’t know who to talk, but contrary to those analysts views this paper thinks that this is a right opportunity to win some of the disgruntled Taliban to its side, allay their concerns as they already don’t like Mullah Mansoor for having close ties with Pakistan’s intelligence agency, ISI. Though, Mullah Omar’s death reports dealt a heavy blow to the peace talks as the first seven months of 2015 saw unprecedented movement towards peace hopes. A series of unofficial meetings between the Taliban and the Afghan government resulted in an official meeting in Pakistan on July 7. A second meeting was scheduled for July 31, however, this is quite perturbing and perplexing as why his death reports was leaked in such a time when peace talks were developing and the intelligence officials and some of the key Taliban already knew about Mullah Omar’s death for quite some time. The peace developments looked substantial and promising as peace talks appeared close at hand. But to the dismay of Kabul, the entire world learned that Taliban leader Mullah Omar was no more. His death reports scuttled the peace process. Now there is a split in the Taliban. And the government can benefit from this situation too. It must not waste its time in just wrenching its hands and wait for Pakistan rather it should start contacts with the disgruntled Taliban leaders, should start peace talks with them. If Mullah Omar were alive, such talks would have been considered illegitimate as during his life no Taliban could have dared to sit for peace talks with Kabul, but now yes many will. Now that he is no more who will endorse the talks illegitimate? The government must officially announce that it is going to kick start peace talks with the disgruntled Taliban and see what follows next.

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