Islamabad: Following the death of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar, the second round of peace talks between Afghan government representatives and the militant group which were to be held in Pakistan tomorrow has been postponed, it was announced here today. “In view of the reports regarding the death of Mullah Omar and the resulting uncertainty, and at the request of the Afghan Taliban leadership, the second round of the Afghan peace talks, which was scheduled to be held in Pakistan on July 31, 2015, is being postponed,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement.
The second round of the landmark peace talks were set to be held in the hill resort of Murree where the first round was also held on July 7. The statement said Pakistan and other friendly countries of Afghanistan hope that the Taliban leadership will stay engaged in the process of peace talks in order to promote a lasting peace in Afghanistan. “It is further hoped that those forces, which due to their malafide intent wanted to undermine the peace talks, will not succeed in their designs,” it said.
The Afghan Taliban today confirmed the death of Omar, a day after it was announced by the Afghan government. “The leadership of the Islamic Emirate and the family of Mullah Omar… announce that leader Mullah Omar died due to a sickness,” the Taliban said in a statement using the movement’s official name.
Yesterday, media reports citing Afghan government and intelligence sources said that Omar had died two to three years ago.
Earlier this month, the Afghan Taliban had issued Omar’s “message” on the eve of Eid in which he had hailed as “legitimate” the peace talks between his group and the Afghan government aimed at ending the 13-year war in Afghanistan.