The Taliban supreme leader Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada has appointed mullah Yaqqoob, the elder son of Mullah, as the military chief of the group, with an aim to further strengths his hold on all affairs ahead of the key negotiations with the Afghan leaders, it has been reported.

A senior Taliban leader confirmed the this during an interview with the Daily Times of Pakistan.

The Taliban leader said members of the powerful “Rehbari Shura” or leadership council is also discussing a suggestion to form a new team for the intra-Afghan dialogue.

The Taliban leader who wished to remain anonymous said “There was a proposal to constitute a new negotiation team comprised members of the ‘rehbari shura’ that will be under the direct supervision of the ‘amir-ul-mineen’ (commander of the faithful) Sheikh Hibatullah Akhundzada.”

“No final decision has yet been taken and the proposal is expected to be discussed in a meeting in the coming days,” he added.

This comes as reports emerged earlier last month suggesting that Mullah Yaqoob has been appointed as the military chief of the group following a reshuffle in the top leadership of the Taliban.

The report emerged amid speculations that the senior leaders of the group including Akhundzada have contracted the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and that the Taliban supreme leader Akhundzada has died of the virus.