New Afghan Taliban chief spurns peace talks

New Afghan Taliban chief spurns peace talks
# 01 August 2015 20:24 (UTC +04:00)

In a 33 minute audio message sent to journalists, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor called for the Taliban to continue its military campaign until an Islamic regime is established across the country.

“We don’t pay attention to this kind of propaganda, like peace talks or other related issues. Our jihad will continue until the establishment of an Islamic regime in Afghanistan,” he said.

The new leader - who has emerged following the announcement of Mullah Mohammad Omar’s death this week - called for unity within the Taliban ranks. “Cracks in our lines would benefit our enemies, which will produce more problems for us,” he said.

News of Omar’s death prompted speculation as to whether to Taliban would continue peace talks begun on July 7. A meeting scheduled for Friday was postponed following the news of Omar’s death.

Mansoor has reportedly faced strong internal opposition, with prominent commanders snubbing the council meeting that saw him elected while others are said to have stormed out, including Omar's son and brother.

Analyst Gul Ahmad Reshad said he believed the Taliban would intensify their military campaign to demonstrate strength after losing Omar, their spiritual leader.

“Alteration of the Taliban`s leadership won’t change their war policy unless they change their ideology,” he said. “The Taliban don’t believe in the peace process.”

He added: “We can’t ignore that Mansoor has faced strong internal opposition to his leadership. He has to deliver a message even it is against his own beliefs that can suppress possible sedition.”

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