NYT alleges Pakistan behind death of Taliban Commander Mullah Akhtar Mansour

NYT alleges Pakistan behind death of Taliban Commander Mullah Akhtar Mansour

According to the NYT report, when Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour , then Taliban leader, was killed in an American drone strike, he sensed hours ago that something was not right.

When he came home from a secret visit from Iran in May 2016, he called his relatives and brother while driving in a remote area of Southwestern Pakistan to let them know that he was about to die, reports claimed. 

“He knew something was happening,” a former Taliban commander, who is close to Mullah Mansour’s inner circle, said in an interview. “That’s why he was telling his family members what to do and to stay united.”

Taliban commanders do not give interviews but it was a rare case as this one agreed to sit for interview on the condition that his name and location would not be made public. This fellow agreed for interview as he had escaped from insurgent’s rank and his life was under threat.

His statements offered insights into final hours of Mullah Mansour’s life and why and how he was killed revealing dangerously widening rift with Pakistani sponsors, reported NYT.

The account was complemented and supported in interviews with two senior Afghan officials who have conducted their own investigations into the Taliban leader’s death — Haji Agha Lalai, presidential adviser and deputy governor of Kandahar; and Gen. Abdul Raziq, the police chief of Kandahar Province.

Growing number of western security analysts and Afghans on both sides of war contented after more than a year that Pakistan was the mastermind behind Mullah Mansour’s death as it wanted the removal of the Taliban leader it could not trust, according to NYT report.

“Pakistan was making very strong demands,” the former commander said. “Mansour was saying you cannot force me on everything. I am running the insurgency, doing the fighting and taking casualties and you cannot force us.”