Thursday, July 14, 2016

Report: The Afghan Taliban’s New Leader Akhundzada Lacks ‘Influence’

Photo: Taliban new leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada is seen in an undated photograph, posted on a Taliban twitter feed on May 25, 2016, and identified separately by several Taliban officials, who declined be named. Social Media/File Photo

New York Times: Taliban’s New Leader, More Scholar Than Fighter, Is Slow to Impose Himself

KABUL, Afghanistan — The early tenure of the Taliban’s new leader, a low-key religious scholar seen as a potential unifier, has been notable for lacking the drama his predecessor seemed unable to shake.

But even after two months in the role, Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada remains something of a mystery to the Taliban rank and file, according to analysts and insurgent commanders. And he has yet to make any high-profile mark on an insurgency that is stretched by internal divisions.

Many view him as lacking the grip and influence that his predecessor, Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, had amassed before being killed in an American drone strike in May. Mullah Mansour’s tenure was marked by purges and open rebellion that have receded into the background.

Despite that, some commanders have refused to pledge allegiance to Mawlawi — a title reserved for Islamic scholars — Haibatullah, according to interviews with Taliban commanders and officials.

Read more ....

Update: Taliban’s new leader being viewed as lacking influence: Report (Indian express/PTI)

WNU Editor: He has to earn his position .... and for that he will need time and success on the battlefield.

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