He said Mullah Mohammed Omar gave him all the responsibilities while he was still alive, so he is simply continuing with the mission as instructed by the late leader.

“We must be united, otherwise our enemies will win in our separation”, Mansoor said. “They are conducting these campaigns by spending money through media and some scholars to only make our Jihad weak, but we will not pay attention to any of those including the peace process”, Mansoor says on the tape. “We have fought for 25 years and we will not lose our achievements”. Mullah Akhtar Mansour had been notified as successor to the late Mullah Omar on Friday.

“We will continue the jihad until we establish an Islamic state”, he said.

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So great was the influence wielded by Mullah Omar that the Taliban leadership clearly wanted to disguise his death in case it led to a schism within the movement.

“This is a moment of opportunity” for the Taliban to choose war or peace, Washington’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Daniel Feldman, told journalists here Friday.

According to IB Times, the last time Mansour was linked with peace talks, the affair ended in farce, when it emerged the man claiming to be the deputy Taliban leader was in fact an imposter. And he defined the goal of the insurgency as “an Islamic system” in Kabul, rather than explicitly speaking in terms of the Taliban reconquering Afghanistan. Mujahid said the meeting occurred the same day that Mansour was selected to replace Omar and that several people in attendance made an oath of allegiance to Mansour.

Mansoor is only the second leader the Taliban have had since Omar, an elusive figure who was rarely seen in public and founded the group in the 1990s.

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Niazi added that Omar’s relatives, particularly his brother and son, were “not happy” with the appointment. “That was a red line for Mansour”, said Waheed Mojda, a former Taliban diplomat who is now an analyst in Kabul.

The Taliban and the Afghan government, under the leadership of new President Ashraf Ghani, held inaugural talks in Pakistan earlier this month. Pressure from China, the Pakistani military’s most important ally, appears to have played a central role, according to Barnett Rubin, a former State Department official and expert on Afghanistan. Some reports even suggested that the widely popular militant leader, who is believed to have set up bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan, died of protracted illness a year ago.

The Wall Street Journal reports that if, indeed, Omar is dead, it raises questions about who will lead the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Jalaluddin was known to be seriously ill for the past many years.

Like Omar, Jalaluddin Haqqani has been reported dead on a number of occasions, but the reports have not been independently verified. That could explain the decision to insert the two Haqqani network deputies to strengthen Mansour and to see off any possible rebellion but Yakub’s lingering presence could still create problems and threaten a split within the Taliban.