Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, founder of the movement along with the late Mullah Omar, is emerging as the country’s new leader
Afghans and the international community anxiously await the composition of the new Taliban-led government, whose lightning reconquest of the country continues to face a focus of resistance in the Panshir Valley. The Cabinet, which the Taliban promised to be representative and tolerant, was initially expected after yesterday’s prayer, but an official spokesman told AFP that it was being delayed, at least until today. The radical Islamist movement faces the enormous challenge of going from being an insurgent group to managing power just days after the final withdrawal of US troops after two decades of war.
Everything indicates that the Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is ready to become the head of the Government, although in the sphere of the current leaders of Kabul they refuse to confirm it. Ghani would be accompanied by Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, son of the late Taliban co-founder, Mullah Omar, and Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, who would become his lieutenants. Haibatullah Akhunzada, Supreme Religious Leader, will focus on religious affairs and the framework of Islam.
For many years Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has been the head of the Taliban in exile, based in Doha. His public profile has largely been limited to posting annual messages during the holidays.
Raised in Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban movement, like most Afghans, the new leader’s life was altered by the Soviet invasion in the late 1970s, transforming him into an insurgent who fought with the one-eyed cleric. Mullah Omar.
The two would found the Taliban movement in the early 1990s amid the chaos that erupted after the Soviet withdrawal. Now, Ghani is believed to have been among a small group of insurgents who approached interim President Hamed Karzai with a letter outlining a possible deal that would have made it possible for militants to recognize the new administration.