The South Asia Channel
Death of Mullah Omar Leaves Taliban in Uncertain Position; Pakistan To Raise Indian Spying With UN
Editor’s Note: Today’s brief does not include a section on India Afghanistan Death of Mullah Omar leaves Taliban in uncertain position With news spreading — and confirmation by the Taliban on Thursday — of Mullah Omar’s death, there are lingering issues for the Taliban, including who will lead and whether peace talks will continue (NYT, ...
Editor’s Note: Today’s brief does not include a section on India
Death of Mullah Omar leaves Taliban in uncertain position
With news spreading — and confirmation by the Taliban on Thursday — of Mullah Omar’s death, there are lingering issues for the Taliban, including who will lead and whether peace talks will continue (NYT, Post). The Taliban’s second-in-command, Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, was elected the leader by a shura council on Thursday, however, one of Omar’s former aides, Mohammad Hassan Rahmani, told Radio Free Afghanistan that Mansour faces “significant opposition from within” (VOA, RFE/RL). According to Afghan and Western officials, the group has to determine who will actually succeed Omar and whether anyone has enough internal support to keep the group from fracturing. Omar’s son, Mohammad Yaqoub, is seen as Mansour’s main rival for the top position. Pajhwok Afghan News is reporting that several senior leaders and members of Omar’s family reject Mansour’s appointment and some have even accused Mansour of involvement in Omar’s death (Pajhwok). The second meeting of the peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government — which were scheduled for Friday — has been delayed at the request of the Taliban leadership (TOLO News).
Bonus read: “Who’s in Charge of the Taliban?” Casey Garret Johnson (SouthAsia)
Bonus read: “Could Mullah Omar’s Death Help the Peace Process,” Michael Kugelman (SouthAsia)
Afghan forces recapture district
Afghan National Security Forces retook the Nawzad district in Helmand province on Friday killing at least 50 Taliban militants, according to Ministry of Interior spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi (TOLO News). At least two Afghan security force members were killed and 31 others wounded during the operation, Sediqqi added. The Taliban captured the district on Wednesday and an intense battle waged for two days.
Pakistan to raise issue of Indian spying with UN
Pakistani National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz told the National Assembly on Friday that the government may go to the United Nations over the activities of India’s spy agency — Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) — within Pakistan (ET, Dawn). Aziz told those gathered: “The Prime Minister will also raise the issue of RAW’s involvement in Pakistan at the UN General Assembly.” Pakistan and India routinely accuse each other of meddling and frequently attribute attacks within their countries to those with ties to the other country or its spy agency. Earlier this week, gunmen opened fire on a police station in India near the border with Pakistan; yesterday India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the gunmen had come from Pakistan, a claim that Aziz rejected.
Karachi electric company overhaul infrastructure following heat wave
K-Electric Limited — the power company that faced intense criticism for power outages during Karachi’s heat wave last month — announced on Thursday that it will invest $400 million in overhauling its infrastructure (ET). K-Electric will be partnering with Siemens and Shanghai Electric to “enhance transmission capacity and improve reliability of the system.” Improvements include an additional 1,010 megawatts of generation capacity and will be able to handle an increase in load from new power plants within the transmission system. Work will start within a few weeks and is scheduled to be completed within the next few years.
Edited by Peter Bergen