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Editorial: Disintegrated Taliban

Since establishment of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) efforts were made to bring durable peace and stability to Afghanistan but the there the Taliban’s commander-in-chief, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor, rejected to be part of any peace talks. He was hell-bent on destroying Afghanistan. Mansoor has no soft corner for peace but was pounding the drum of war. Afghan and the United State officials tried their best to convince Mullah Mansoor to renounce violence and give peace a chance. He is no more as he was killed in a US drone strike in Balochistan province of Pakistan. His demise ignited hope for peace once again.

Chief Executive Officer, Abdullah Abdullah, said that the Taliban’s supreme commander was against peace and involved in killing of innocent Afghans. The deadly terror attacks in the country after Mullah Mansoor ascended to the top position in the group, in controversial manner, exposed how he was a major threat for the reconciliation. The United State secretary of state, John Kerry, on Sunday acknowledged that the Taliban leader was a threat to peace process. During his visit to Myanmar he said that Mullah Mansoor not only posed threat to the foreign forces in Afghanistan but also to Afghan civilians and security personnel.  Kerry reiterated to stand with Afghan government.

No doubt that the drone strike proved that the US officials are sincerely supporting the Afghan government in the peace process by taking down anti-peace elements. The reports about this important incident are incomprehensive. It is still unclear that who helped the Americans, but even if Pakistani intelligence provided information to the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States, it was because of the US pressure over Islamabad.  The US has brought crippling pressure over Pakistan by announcing cut in its military assistance. As per roadmap prepared by the QCG, Pakistan was supposed to take military action against the Taliban and its staunch ally the Haqqani Network. However, Pakistan was giving cold-shoulder response to the calls. It is an open secret that who supported Mansoor and his group.

Killing of Mullah Mansoor has left door open for many questions such as who will be the new leader of the Taliban? Will the new leader nod to the peace talks? Will the Taliban disintegrate further into small factions or the new leader would be able to bring them together? Afghan government and its partners shall take into consideration all these questions. More options available on the table will help the government to achieve the peace objective easily. If the Taliban’s new commander-in-chief was deadlier than Mullah Mansoor then it would a challenge for the US and Afghan government to deal with.

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