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Afghan Taliban reject peace talks, vow to continue fighting

Updated May 25, 2016 08:35pm

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This undated handout photograph released by the Afghan Taliban on May 25, 2016 shows, according to the Afghan Taliban, the new Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada posing for a photograph at an undisclosed location. —AFP
This undated handout photograph released by the Afghan Taliban on May 25, 2016 shows, according to the Afghan Taliban, the new Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada posing for a photograph at an undisclosed location. —AFP

KABUL: The Afghan Taliban under their new leader, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, on Wednesday rejected peace talks as a viable solution to bringing the Afghan insurgency to an end, and have stated that fighting will continue.

In an audio message released in Pushto, circulated by Taliban commanders, Haibatullah stated the "Taliban will never bow their heads and will not agree to peace talks."

Afghan Taliban's new chief added that "people thought we will lay down our arms after Mullah Mansour's death, but we will continue fighting till the end."

New Afghan Taliban chief

A spokesman of the Afghan Taliban on Wednesday confirmed the death of the group's chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour in a US drone strike.

In a statement sent to media Wednesday, the insurgent group said its new leader is Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, a former head of the Taliban's judiciary and one of two Mansour's deputies.

It said he was chosen at a meeting of Taliban leaders.

Mullah Mansour.—Reuters/File
Mullah Mansour.—Reuters/File

Sirajuddin Haqqani, head of a network blamed for many high-profile bombs attacks in Kabul in recent years, and Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, son of former leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, will serve as deputies, Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban's main spokesman, said in the statement.

Both of the new deputies had earlier been thought to be the main contenders for the top job.

Mansour was reported killed in Pakistan on Saturday when his vehicle was struck by a US drone, believed to be the first time a Taliban leader was killed in such a way inside Pakistani territory.

After Mullah Mansour

The US and Afghan governments said Mansour had been an obstacle to a peace process that had ground to a halt when he refused to participate in peace talks earlier this year. Instead, he intensified the war in Afghanistan, now in its 15th year.

Examine: Mansour was not against talks, says Nisar

Mansour had led the Taliban since last summer, when the death of the movement's founder, the one-eyed Mullah Mohammad Omar became public. Mansour ran the movement in Mullah Omar's name for more than two years.

The group saw a resurgence under the firebrand supremo with striking military victories, helping to cement his authority by burnishing his credentials as a commander.

They briefly captured the strategic northern city of Kunduz in September in their most spectacular victory in 14 years. Southern opium-rich Helmand province is almost entirely under insurgent control.

The revelation of Mullah Omar's death and Mansour's deception led to widespread mistrust, with some senior leaders leaving the group to set up their own factions.

Senior Taliban figures have said his death could strengthen the movement, as he was a divisive figure. The identity of his successor was expected to be an indication of the direction the insurgency would take, either toward peace or continued war.

Akhundzada is a religious scholar known for issuing public statements justifying the existence of the militant Taliban, their war against the Afghan government and the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan.

His views are regarded as hawkish, and he could be expected to continue in the aggressive footsteps of Mansour.

The Taliban statement called on all Muslims to mourn Mansour for three days. It also attempted to calm any qualms among the rank and file by calling for unity and obedience to the new leader.

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Comments (78) Closed



Vishal May 25, 2016 10:00am

So now pak where is this new leader based? again in Pakistan?

mazhar May 25, 2016 10:02am

well atleast he got a nice name HAIBAT ULLAH

SHAH May 25, 2016 10:11am

Few Mullahs and Talibans can not tarnish the image of Pakistan as a moderate, democratic and free country!

sachin nair May 25, 2016 10:17am

Quite professional approach. Businesses can learn from them. Succession planning, revenue generation, attrition control, human resource deployment, skill based work distribution, training and development, talent mapping, budget allocation, motivation, creating an agile organization, technology incorporation, frugal approach, identifying best opportunity... and so on. These guys are so advanced in their systems.

Warrior Bin Qasim May 25, 2016 10:17am

Thanks for letting us know about the new leader. Now American drone knows who to look for. Thanks again.

Hitesh May 25, 2016 10:26am

Violence can never solve a problem. I wish the Talibans, terrorists and threir supporters understand and accept this fact this as early as possible.

Commentator1 May 25, 2016 10:42am

Americans are unable to and will be unable to wipe out Talibans from Afghanistan and they may come back to power at some point in future. It is a lesson that dialogue is the only option, Talibans are a reality in Afghanistan.

shafqat May 25, 2016 10:53am

Drone strike killed the Talibaan leaders body beyond recognition and it requires DNA test to confirm his identity. However his Pakistan NIC was found unscathed. Hats off for using a material stronger than steel to make Pakistan NICs.

Bravo May 25, 2016 10:58am

Hence proved that Taliban is not the name of few hundred of armed troops fighting against US and allies but it is the ideology and you can't wipe out ideology through weapons. To counter the ideology of terrorism there must be an ideology of peace that need to be spread like a wind storm so that it could dominate over the wrong one. Change of minds could bring the change not the weapons alone.

Kuldeep Poonia May 25, 2016 10:59am

Talibans have not chosen Haqqani to lead the group. It is to be seen how new leadership approaches Peace Talks. I won't be surprised if new leader is also eliminated until Haqqani gets the reigns of the group. That seems to be a logical objective of Rawalpindi.

asad May 25, 2016 11:35am

So killing taliban is not the solution, the west should understand that there will be another successor every time they drone the previous one. this successor is likely to be more fierce and dreadful as an act of vengeance to show their loyalty towards their fellows with similar ideologies

IJLAL May 25, 2016 11:49am

Russia exit Afghanistan in 1987-88. Those who were hardly in mid 20s are now in Mid Fiftees and were friend to the eisting ONLY SUPER POWER. Who was supporting AFGHANS against Russia through Pakistan and now killing their once allies? America! please stop playing in the region for your gains only.

S May 25, 2016 11:57am

That was fast. I expected them to fight among themselves and I am sure west did too. I guess that didn't happen. It means that Afghan taliban knew this could happen and were prepared. Pakistan needs to mine its border and increase the checkposts. Taliban will be in a revenge mood right now. Who knows they may end up attacking us as well.

Last Word May 25, 2016 12:00pm

Well, from the write-up it is not a good news for Afghanistan. The new commander should consider reconciliation as the best option to bring peace in this region. US along with many countries including India will never allow the present Afghan regime be defeated and anarchy spread in the whole region..

Gp65 May 25, 2016 12:05pm

@asad why don't you apply same logic toTTP?

Mohammad S. Khalid May 25, 2016 12:09pm

@Kuldeep Poonia

Haibaitullah is hawkish too. Please think upon the name Haibaitullah with the help of some good Arabic dictionary.

rahat May 25, 2016 02:03pm

The US should understand that they have done enough damage to the people of Afghanistan. They will not be able to bring peace to a country which has been ravaged by decades of war (mostly because of their intervention) by handing over power to a small bunch of their puppets and keeping majority out of the picture. They better leave the region and forget about containing China by having permanent presence in Afghanistan, the people of Afghanistan may, one day, see peace restored to their country.

farman ali shah May 25, 2016 02:43pm

Thousands of Taliban have been killed in Afghanistan, overtook their rule, transferred to non violent local people by US & its allies & claimed elimination of Taliban from the homeland of Afghans. Taliban is not merely a name hundreds of thousands of armed group,rather its an ideology,the latter is almost impossible to root out through armed efforts only. It needs a social transition to change the mindset & ideology of Taliban.

Alam May 25, 2016 03:13pm

@Hitesh yes you are right. But why not Kashmiris understand this?

Abdulla Hussain May 25, 2016 03:59pm

@Vishal: For good Afghan Taliban no problem. Even America has recognised this fact. They are fighting to free their motherland from foreign occupation like the freedom fighters of undivided India against British Raj. Tipu Sultan is one example. Others are Bahadur Shah, Maulana Mazharul Haque Zafar, Mahmud al-Hasan, Mangal Pandey, Rani Lakshmi Bai, Subhash Chandra Bose, many more.

M. Siddique May 25, 2016 04:06pm

@Vishal, No this one we plan station in New Delhi.

Ahsan Gul May 25, 2016 04:18pm

Like Pakistan's government using crafty ways telling the whole world new successor. Let's see how long this mullaha lasts. Good luck mullaha.

M.Saeed May 25, 2016 04:30pm

@Vishal : He could have survived if he had traveled through Chabahar!

Harish May 25, 2016 04:30pm

@Vishal so correct . agree with you.

Imtiaz May 25, 2016 04:44pm

Taliban True Freedom Fighters

Zeeshan May 25, 2016 04:55pm

I think this could be the least desired position in the world any individual could be dreaming for.

rstirkie May 25, 2016 05:02pm

@Commentator1 : but American can make life very difficult for Pakistan? America is not leaving Pakisatn as they did not leave Korea.

Basit Ali May 25, 2016 05:01pm

@IJLAL Please understand this ...America is only giving money ...are the people fools to take money and fight for a lost cause?

Basit Ali May 25, 2016 05:03pm

@Commentator1 What about TTP then? What makes us all so apologetic ?

Tamilselvan May 25, 2016 05:23pm

Good, now we know who is next on target for US drones. Thank you Uncle Sam

James West May 25, 2016 05:30pm

Good to know the Americans have a new target for their drones.

Harmony-1© May 25, 2016 08:02pm

@M. Siddique - An inane comment like @Vishal needed to be replied with apt sarcasm...well said!

Taimoor khan May 25, 2016 08:14pm

Well done America and your regional allies, you lot have very successfully torpedoed any chance of the peace in Afghanistan. Perhaps , at the end of the day, it was the desired outcome, the more Afghanistan will burn, the more justification for foreign occupation.

Mustafa R. May 25, 2016 08:16pm

@Hitesh;

'Violence can never solve a problem.'

And yet India is the biggest importer of arms in the world.

Shah, Canada May 25, 2016 08:21pm

@Hitesh ... Yes true but those stabbing in the back should also understand.

Jamal May 25, 2016 08:23pm

Why the Taliban Shoura has selected another leader. They should have waited as Ch. Nisar is waiting for DNA test to ensure Mullah Mansour is no more. What a pathetic government we have in Pakistan.

mahboob May 25, 2016 08:25pm

Taliban will never finish from this soil. It is an ideology and not people. After the death of Mansur, Taliban will not be on peace table. They will now fight. Fight till to get control of their country. This time, USA did mistake and now situation will be more worse.

ahmed May 25, 2016 08:38pm

I hope the elected government of Afghanistan goes after these talban thugs

Jaggu May 25, 2016 08:41pm

@Vishal the statement came from Kabul and not Islamabad. His family also might be in Iran like mullah Mansoor.

Dr faizan May 25, 2016 08:42pm

Idiotic American policies costing dearly to the world.

sbk May 25, 2016 08:46pm

Let us hope he is not given shelter in Pakistan.

sbk May 25, 2016 08:51pm

Afghanistan want the help of India and Iran to put an end to this terrorism in their soil. Let Pakistan also lend some help by not giving shelter to Taliban leaders.

Catalyst May 25, 2016 08:54pm

"people thought we will lay down our arms after Mullah Mansour's death, but we will continue fighting till the end." Hence the US strategy has been proven wrong, again!

Abdul Karim May 25, 2016 08:55pm

What was achieve in this recent drone attack by US? Peace talk and dialogue process has now come to an end. It is about time Pakistan should remain passive & suspend it involvement in Afghan peace talks and let Mr. Obama conduct his policies and his war plan in Afghanistan. Taliban have rejected peace in Afghanistan and this means continuity of war in Afghanistan. So now US and Afghan government can find the way to peace and stability in any way they like. Since 2011 up till 2016 both US and Kabul government has failed to defeat the Taliban with 150000 US/NATO troops. How can anyone think that 10000 US troops left in Afghanistan will win the war against Taliban. President Obama can have his Afghan policy and the Americans know how to handle the situation. Pakistan should be out of this game.

Muhammad Usman May 25, 2016 08:58pm

Pakistan should be ready for more violence. We need improved intelligence and security at all levels. Criminals follow no law. They have no value for human life.

Desi Dimag May 25, 2016 09:02pm

Pakistan must go for peace.

Deep May 25, 2016 09:02pm

A bit surprised at so many comments taking the tone of conspiracy theory.

Passport pages are made of stronger than normal paper. Also each page of passport carries passport number in various formats, often times either etched or perforated.

So even if one page or one small piece of passport is found, you can still trace it back to the owner. The whole passport does not need to remain intact.

Exlim May 25, 2016 09:03pm

Iron fist and resolve is needed to handle these stone age minded people. Once Pakistan and India stop supporting each others Taliban across Afghan Pak borders, we can hope for a better future.

Peaceful May 25, 2016 09:03pm

Taliban are very much same as they were in Russians time , Goodluck America here they go again

Accountability May 25, 2016 09:07pm

Let Afghans keep fighting among themselves for next years. Pakistan should distance itself from never-ending afghan fights. Strict control of borders, no trouble makers, no spies. Pakistan is dragged into tribal wars that is hampering Pakistan's progress. Pakistan should be progressing must faster but its stuck with neighboring country's problems. Where are brave and dedicated leaders with vision? Why such a decay continues for decades, who is responsible for all the destruction in Pakistan?

k k tiwari May 25, 2016 09:10pm

If this man is in Pakistan, better expel him

Shyam May 25, 2016 09:12pm

They should have taken out the whole Jigra.

Kamal Pasha. May 25, 2016 09:14pm

When they were ever serious in peace talk. They like fighting and give them the best fight.

zq May 25, 2016 09:22pm

@Vishal As long as India continue to sabotage Pakistan the Taliban will flourish unfortunately.. Where do you think they get their money and training??

PakiForum May 25, 2016 09:32pm

Thanks to USA

lafanga May 25, 2016 09:48pm

"people thought we will lay down our arms after Mullah Mansour's death, but we will continue fighting till the end."

Ok Mr. Obama mission accomplished. Thanks for more bloodshed in Afghanistan for another months or years.

lafanga May 25, 2016 09:49pm

@Vishal "So now pak where is this new leader based? again in Pakistan?"

Maybe, maybe not BUT he will most likely have his family settled in Iran which Iran will deny and this guy will be killed in few months crossing another border and we will be back to square one.

DD May 25, 2016 09:52pm

There U Go Captin America! Killing more will only create more enemies for you!

lafanga May 25, 2016 09:56pm

American cowboy attitude changes things in 48 hours. Just over a week back all four countries, US, Pakistan, China and Afghanistan were meeting in Islamabad to revive the peace talks. According to reports Mullah Mansour was trying hard to bring the different factions of Taliban to negotiating table. Perhaps US could have waited for couple of more months to see the outcome before going trigger happy.

Now forget the peace talks for another few months, maybe more.

Qamber Ali May 25, 2016 10:40pm

"the war in Afghanistan, now in its 15th year", almost for most part of my life in last 40 years or so i have seen and heard that afghanistan is at war with USSR, civil war, taliban war, US war and still continues war

Razi May 25, 2016 10:55pm

War is fine if fought with the right weapons i.e., education, economic and technological advancement and improved social values because in the end all benefit, no one gets hurt and no one loses, really!

Abbas Naqvi May 25, 2016 11:13pm

Very difficult for this region to see peace. New Taliban leader vows to fight till the end shattering any hope for the peace talks to take place in the near future.

Raul May 26, 2016 12:07am

@Deep

The two corpses disappeared within hours of the incident having been claimed by relatives who are untraceable now. Normal process is for an autopsy to be conducted when someone dies an abnormal death. Do you think that is really going to happen?

Faisal May 26, 2016 12:29am

When Germany invaded Poland and hitler didn't expect the British to support Poland , he was surprised at britans guarantees to Poland . Hearing the news , hitler turned to his warmonger foreign misnister Ribbentrop and said , " what now ?" . Obama should turn to his secretary of state , Kerry, and ask him , " what now ?"

US CENTCOM May 26, 2016 12:31am

Mullah Mansour was an obstacle in the path of a peaceful resolution to the Afghan war. The U.S. supports the Afghan –led peace talks with those who agree to abide by the Afghan constitution, and renounce violence against the Afghan people and government. Mansour not only rejected efforts by the Afghan government to seriously engage in peace talks but also planned attacks against American and coalition forces and the Afghan people.”

Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters that the U.S.-led collation was in communication with Afghan and Pakistani defense officials prior to the airstrike. Capt. Davis emphasized that military authorizations permitted actions against enemies who aim to harm the United States and its allies.

“The U.S., Pakistan and Afghanistan share common aims of taking out senior terrorist leaders when and where we see them. Mansour was a specific, imminent threat to U.S. and coalition personnel."

Ali Khan Digital Engagement Team - U.S. CENTCOM

Baba Bandook May 26, 2016 12:51am

USA took Mansour out saying hes an obstacle to peace talks, here you go, the new leader has rejected the talks straight away. USA is stoking with fire and use of weapons are not going to get them anywhere instead they will destabilise the region and the country even more. Let the stakeholders deal with the problem themselves. USA had 15 years to fix it but in vain.

confused in canada May 26, 2016 01:19am

@Commentator1 I may have misunderstood, but to have a dialogue both sides must talk. The old mullah, and this new mullah have stated the fight will continue....no talks. One way towards peace with the taliban is to sacrifice the entire afghan nation to the taliban. Not sure the people of afghanistan want to be massacred again.

Akil Akhtar May 26, 2016 05:16am

US has got what it wanted.....no peace and their continued presence in the region

VV May 26, 2016 05:28am

With the intransigent statement - will they become target practice for US drone operators? Only time will tell. For Peace to reign, for themselves, their families and communities the serve and live in, it is important for Taliban to enter into negotiations. That is the only way to improve the lives of Afghans and thus leave a lasting and peaceful legacy for future generations.

Agha Ata May 26, 2016 05:44am

They rejected peace talk. That is understandable. If they stop fighting, what would they think they achieved? Nothing. They do have a purpose in fighting. Let's say to establish the Islaminc rule according to their brand then, how can they come to talk peace? Not very likely.

Farhan May 26, 2016 08:49am

No one is saying that these very people killed thousands of our Pakistani citizens.

Ishrat Salim May 26, 2016 12:18pm

They are off shoot of Al Qaeda which ms Hillary had accepted to have been responsible for its creation. It is the Americans who have created these monsters for their own interest and in the bargain has destroyed peace in the world, starting from ME to EU and the rest of the world.

hina May 26, 2016 03:11pm

Us does not want peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Desi Dimag May 26, 2016 06:46pm

@hina need a peaceful ideology not a violent.

Mohammad S. Khalid May 26, 2016 11:36pm

@Qamber Ali

They are at war since the time of Changez Khan , Elaxnder the Great, British India and of course victorious every time.

lubna May 27, 2016 10:20pm

cant believe 20000 taliban cannot be defeated by entire world armies--are they supermen

JATT May 28, 2016 12:07am

Afghan government will not be able to fight the taliban and so they are better of talking to them and negotiating a power transfer deal

Ayub May 28, 2016 10:11am

Americans can not defeat Afghans by military might. They should revisit their strategy and win them by reaching their hearts and minds.