Criticizing the appointment of Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada as Taliban’s new leader, Mullah Mannan Niazi, spokesman for the Taliban’s breakaway faction led by Mullah Rassoul, said on Sunday that the newly appointed leader is a puppet of Pakistan – just as his predecessor, Mullah Mansour, was.
He said Mullah Rassoul’s faction wants an Islamic government in Afghanistan and that foreign troops should not stay in the country as invaders.
He said: “Hibatullah was appointed by those who appointed Mansour as Taliban’s leader. It is part of the conspiracy that has started against the Taliban in the past.”
“Those that are killed in the country are killed as a result of the fatwa issued by the unjust muftis that now claim they are leading Taliban. They are our killers and their hands are stained with our blood,” he added.
The withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan has been one of the main pre-conditions of terrorist groups in terms of joining the peace process, but this time, the breakaway faction of the Taliban brought up the issue, with a slightly different angle.