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, ...

395454 01: (UNDATED PHOTO) Mullah Omar, chief of the Taliban, is shown in this headshot photo. Military forces from the United States and Britain have begun attacking targets October 7, 2001 in Afghanistan. (Photo by Getty Images)
395454 01: (UNDATED PHOTO) Mullah Omar, chief of the Taliban, is shown in this headshot photo. Military forces from the United States and Britain have begun attacking targets October 7, 2001 in Afghanistan. (Photo by Getty Images)

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, 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

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.

–Courtney Schuster

Edited by Peter Bergen

Getty Images

Courtney Schuster is a research associate with the International Security Program at New America and an assistant editor with the South Asia Channel.

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