PESHAWAR: A senior Pakistani cleric widely known as the "Father of the Taliban" is concerned about insurgent movement in Afghanistan after Mullah Omar 's death.

Maulana Sami-ul Haq , an influential figure among members of the Taliban on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border, said he had urged the newly declared head of the group, Mullah Mohammad Akhtar Mansour, to sit down with rivals who have challenged his right to the leadership.

"I would arrange for members of the two rival factions together to sit down in front of each other, ‎and in the presence of other leading religious scholars, we would listen to both sides and overcome this issue amicably," he told.

He said by telephone that both sides had expressed their trust in him and appealed to him to help resolve the dispute.

The comments underline efforts within the movement to patch up a potentially dangerous rift that could split the Taliban, open the door to more defections to Islamic State and threaten the future of peace talks with the government in Kabul.

Meanwhile, the movement is pressing its insurgency against government forces in Afghanistan which has claimed thousands of lives since 2001 and intensified since most NATO troops left the country by the end of 2014.

Mansour, longtime deputy to the movement's reclusive founder Mullah Mohammad Omar, was named leader last week after Taliban officials confirmed Omar was dead. Afghan officials and some senior Taliban say he died two years ago but his death was kept secret.

Haq, who backs Mansour's leadership, said he had met members of Omar's family and others in the faction opposed to the new leader and urged them to overcome what he called "minor differences".