White House spokesperson announced that leader of Afghan Taliban, Mullah Mansoor has been killed in a US drone strike. He was targeted while traveling towards Quetta in a car from Taftan, border between Pakistan and Iran, on Monday. He along with his driver died at the spot and bodies were unable to be identified.
Speculations were rife whether the person killed was really the Taliban chief or not. Interior Minister Chauhdry Nisar Ali Khan expressed the same suspicion in a press conference and said that investigation was still underway to identify the deceased. But the fact that Afghan Taliban on Wednesday nominated a new leader should be enough to put an end to the guesswork of interior minister.
Pakistan has criticized the attack and termed it as violation of its sovereignty. Peace talks to bring stability in Afghanistan were being lead by Pakistan with the Afghan Taliban under the Quadrilateral Coordination Group. Killing of the Taliban leader has put dark shadows on success of peace talks. Newly appointed Taliban leader Haibatullah has not only rejected to indulge in negotiations to bring insurgency in Afghanistan to an end, but also has vowed that fighting will continue. Pakistan has rightly criticized the strike, but it also needs to find answer of a question that how ex-Taliban leader acquired a Pakistani passport and national identity card? This is not the first time a high ranked Afghan possessed the Pakistani identity. There is dire need to find out who else among the Taliban might have Pakistani identities.
The episode may put the Afghan peace talks at risk.