The drone strike that killed Afghan Taleban leader Mullah Mansour gives rise to two observations. For one, Pakistan’s sovereignty was damaged by the drone attack. The second is that Mullah Mansour was not cooperating in the ill-conceived international pea
The Taleban are an indigenous Afghan tribal construct where all constituent parts have equal rights in the decision-making process. A leader can only lead if he recognises and accepts the spirit of the shura (council of leaders) and leads accordingly. He cannot impose his opinion on the constituent parts of the organisation.
Thus Mullah Mansour recognised that the majority of Taleban groups were against peace talks and he had to accept this as the political line to follow in order to remain in power. There is no room for authoritarian leadership models in Afghan tribal society. Regardless of who is the next leader, he will have to follow the same line.
The murder of Mansour will be avenged and the shura will eventually select a new leader. The outcome is likely to be a more united Taleban in the ongoing war against foreign occupation. Meanwhile President Obama has again shown that he doesn’t understand much about how politics works in Afghanistan. If peace was his goal, he has successfully shot it down.
Ali Ashraf Khan