02 June 2016
Following the killing of the Taliban Chief Akhtar Mansoor, Taliban’s relationship, and cooperation with the Shia majority Iran has emerged as a new dimension of the Afghan conflict. Cooperation between the two old-foes defies historical geopolitical and geo-sectarian trends.
Against the backdrop of the killing of Taliban Chief Akhtar Mansoor, one development that has particularly puzzled policymakers and veteran observers of the Afghan conflict was his frequent trips to Iran. At the time of his death, Mansoor entered the Pakistani territory from the Iranian border crossing at Taftan. The passport found in his possession — which miraculously remained intact — showed entry and exit stamps of his travels to Iran. According to some media reports, before taking him out in Balochistan, the US was tracking Mansoor’s movement from Iran.
Some reports indicate that Mansoor travelled to Iran for medical treatment. Others maintain, he probably went there to visit his family. Still others point out that he was in Iran to hold meetings with the Taliban officials who run two Taliban offices in the Iranian city of Zahedan.
… Abdul Basit is an Associate Research Fellow at the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR), a unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
ICPVTR / Online
Last updated on 02/06/2016