If it is true that Mullah Omar died in Pakistan in 2013 then there are some pretty serious consequences:
- What happens to peace talks? Things were ticking along in the right direction. The crucial issue was always what does Mullah Omar want? And there was a clear feeling that credible negotiators could do nothing without his say so. So what if Omar is dead…? Can peace talks survive?
- The Taliban’s coalition of militias essentially held together over two issues: Loyalty to Mullah Omar and opposition to US troops in Afghanistan. If Omar is dead, can the Taliban hold together… particularly when the well-financed Islamic State is trying to attract converts…?
- Who sent Mullah Omar’s last few Eid messages? Given that diplomats in Islamabad believed the ISI was able to get a line to the leader of the Taliban when it needed to, it will reinforce the idea that Pakistan has been the hidden hand behind the group
Update… on reflection