Mullah Akhtar Mansoor appointed new Afghan Taliban Chief

PESHAWAR, Pakistan: Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansoor has been appointed as the new Afghan Taliban Chief after the demise of one-eyed Mullah Muhammad Omar.

The decision to this regard was made by the Afghan Taliban Shura when it met on Wednesday night and held consultation over the appointment of Mullah Akhtar Mansoor as the new supreme leader.

Mullah Akhtar Mansoor appointed new Afghan Taliban Chief

The Shura also formally announced the death of Mullah Omar and unanimously decided that Mullah Akhtar Mansoor will now serve as the movement’s supreme leader.

It also appointed Khalifah Sirajuddin Haqqani and Haibatullah Akhundzada as deputies of the new Taliban Chief.

Mullah Akhtar Mansoor previously served as the second-in-command of the movement. He belongs from the Afghan province of Kandahar and is said to be supportive of peace negotiations with the Afghan government.

The source said that the new Taliban Chief has appointed Haji Din Muhammad to participate in the peace process.

Earlier, the Afghan Presidential Palace also in a statement confirmed the death of Mullah Omar.

“The government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, based on credible information, confirms that Mullah Muhammad Omar, leader of the Taliban died in April 2013 in Pakistan,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the second round of talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban which were scheduled to be held on July 31 in Pakistan has been postponed, according to the Pakistan Foreign Office.

“In view of the reports regarding the death of Mullah Omar and the resulting uncertainty, and at the request of the Afghan Taliban leadership, the second round of the Afghan peace talks is being postponed,” the Foreign Office Spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said in a statement in Islamabad on Thursday.

Pakistan also hosted the first round of talks between the two sides in the hill resort of Murree near Islamabad on July 7, 2015 at which the representatives from the United States and China also participated as observers.