Earlier this week, we were told that peace talks with the Taliban would resume in earnest on Thursday, after three years of fits, starts, and fiery clouds of shrapnel. Supposedly Mullah Omar authorized these talks, even though he’s been keeping a very low profile. How low? The rest of the Taliban was basically ready to put his face on milk cartons, according to a May article at the Daily Beast:
Abdul Qayyum Zakir, the Taliban’s abrasive, often brutal, senior military commander, received a summons from the Quetta shura, the insurgency’s ruling council, last December. The shura’s verbal message was brief, blunt, and shocking: Mullah Mohammad Omar, the Taliban’s supreme leader, had decided to remove Zakir from his powerful position and to promote Zakir’s rival and co-equal, Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor, to become the insurgency’s undisputed number-one military man.