The leader of the Afghan Taliban is dead, finally – evading the U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan for more than a decade. His group confirmed it late last month that the elusive leader had died two years back in Afghanistan. However, most reports suggested the leader of the Islamist group had died in Karachi, Pakistan in April 2013.

Mullah Omar was among the most wanted terrorists by the United States with a bounty of $10 million slashed over his head.  He had gone into a hiding soon after America attacked Afghanistan in the aftermath of the tragic 9/11, after refusing to hand over Osama-bin-Laden to the U.S. Since then, his whereabouts remain unknown.

His death comes at a critical time. The Afghan government is engaged in peace talks with the group.  While his death has augmented prospects for peace in the warn-torn country, reports of leadership crisis within the group have shrouded the efficacy of the peace talks in mystery.

However, there have been several reports previously claiming that the hermit leader is dead. This time around though, it is credible as the Afghan Intelligence have confirmed so have the Taliban.

Mullah Omar led the most ruthless regime of late 20th century. Women were seriously restricted from seeking employment or getting education. They could not leave their homes unless accompanied by a male relative. They were subjected to beatings, whippings, and other forms of humiliation and torture if they had crossed the redlines vaguely defined by the Taliban. Attacks on girls’ schools still continue with the considerable frequency. The music and photography was strictly banned and the televisions were outlawed. Men were required to grow beards and women had to wear the all-covering burka. This mindset still persists. Shalil Shetty, the secretary General of the Amnesty International raises deep concerns and says, ” With the steady withdrawal of U.S troops and fragile state institutions left behind, there are increasing concerns that violence against women is on the raise.”

However, a certain section of the U.S intelligence committee has always believed that Pakistan was playing a dual game and harboring him on its soil. But from Pakistan’s side there has been a constant state of deniability about his presence in its soil.

Pakistan and the United states have been key partners in South Asia against global war on terrorism, but they have had the most dysfunctional bilateral relationships. Pakistan has received as much military and economic aid from the US as Israel did.  There is a general belief among the people in the U.S. that instead of fighting the Islamic militancy, it has harbored the terrorists like Osama Bin Laden and Khalid Sheik Mohammad, who was a suspected plotter of 9//11 and was also believed to be responsible for executing the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002.

Pakistan and Afghanistan have both become the biggest victim of the Taliban’s insurgency. The war has so far resulted over 60,000 human losses to Pakistan. However since coming to the power last year, Ashraf Ghani, the president of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has been pushing the Nawaz government to persuade the Taliban into coming to the negotiating table. Sadly he lambasts Pakistan, claiming that Islamabad still continues its policy of ‘Good/Bad Taliban’, and provides logistic support and sanctuary to the good Taliban who the Afghanistan president considers enemies to his country. In his most recent statement, he says, “ We hoped for peace but we are receiving messages of war from Pakistan.” A couple of months ago, he also criticized Pakistan’s security agency ISI for fighting an undeclared war against Afghanistan.

If the Afghan intelligence report is true, one will not be surprised to see Ayman-al-Zawahiri, the ideological brain behind 9/11 being found in Pakistan just Osama Bin Laden was. Many Afghan believe that Pakistan does not want to see a peaceful Afghanistan and has historically been supporting Taliban’s insurgency in order to maintain influence in their country.