A number of Taliban leaders formed Islamic Emirate Council against Mullah Muhammad Akhtar Mansoor, Taliban’s new leader.
A member of the council in an interview with Ariananews urged Mullah Muhammad Mansoor to resign from his post and abandon areas under their control; otherwise the council would continue movements in a separate ways.
Mullah Akhtar Mansoor – believed to be the Taliban’s new leader – has an unexpected reputation as a relative moderate and vigorous proponent of peace talks, raising hopes that his leadership could pave the way for an end to years of fighting.
The senior Taliban members claimed that the new announced leader is introduced by Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence ISI.
At the same time, Mullah Omar’s son said he cannot support new Taliban leader.
The dispute threatens to derail embryonic peace talks and a rift could allow other Jihadist groups, such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a foothold in Afghanistan.
Mullah Yacoob, Mullah Omar’s oldest son, said he and three other senior leaders walked out of a meeting called to elect a leader, and were demanding a wider vote.
“I am against the decision to select Mullah Akhtar Mansoor as leader,” he said.
“Mansoor was elected by his own group, and we will not accept him as the supreme leader of Taliban,” he said on condition of anonymity. “And we cannot call it a decision without a consensus.”
He said he walked out alongside Mullah Yacoob only 35 minutes into the two-day meeting, which ended with those present swearing loyalty to Mullah Mansoor.
Mullah Qayum Zakir, until recently the Taliban’s military leader, has been the most vocal critics of the new leader, hinting at divisions between a political leadership based in Pakistan and fighters in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor promises to continue insurgency in his audio message has called for a continuation of the group’s armed resistance to both the central government and remaining foreign forces in Afghanistan.
The message, released online on Saturday, marks the first public statement by the group’s new head after being officially named the successor to the group’s founder Mullah Mohammad Omar, who reportedly died two years ago.
The new “leader of the faithful,” as the Taliban’s leader is customarily referred to, said the jihad must continue “until we bring an Islamic rule” to Afghanistan.
That statement seems to be a sharp turnaround from previous depictions of Mansoor, whom sources had said had pushed Omar to look for new approaches to the 14-year-long resistance to occupation.
Mansoor had previously served as Mullah Omar’s deputy and closest confidante for at two of the last years of his life.