Confirmation of the death of Taliban’s last unifying figure could set back the peace process in Afghanistan.
Former Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar. (Source: Reuters)
Ever since the announcement of the death of Mullah Omar, the Taliban amir al-mu’minin (commander of the faithful), by the Afghan authorities, experts have been pondering the future of the so-called “reconciliation” process in Afghanistan. Talks had taken place in Murree, Pakistan, on July 7, sponsored by Pakistan, China and the United States. Following the announcement of Mullah Omar’s death, a second meeting scheduled for July 31 was cancelled.
Concluding that this move has killed the reconciliation process in Afghanistan would, however, be an exaggeration, if for no other reason than because such a process had barely started. Reconciliation is by definition a long-term endeavour, likely to take months, if not years, and fragile until its very end, as it can be jeopardised at any stage by developments on the ground.