Who is Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar that can lead new Afghanistan government?

Updated: Sep 05, 2021, 04:01 PM(IST)

As the Taliban battles rebel fighters in the Panjshir Valley and strives to ward off economic collapse, Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar will lead a new Afghan government set to be announced shortly, according to sources in the Islamist group.

Let's take a look:

Born in Kandahar

Abdul Ghani Baradar was raised in Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban movement.

(Photograph:AFP)

Life altered by Soviet invasion of Afghanistan

Like most Afghans, Baradar's life was forever altered by the Soviet invasion of the country in the late 1970s, transforming him into an insurgent.

He was believed to have fought side-by-side with the one-eyed cleric Mullah Omar.

The two would go on to found the Taliban movement in the early 1990s during the chaos and corruption of the civil war that followed the Soviet withdrawal.

(Photograph:AFP)

Approached Karzai with potential deal

After the Taliban regime was toppled in 2001 by US-led forces, Baradar is believed to have been among a small group of insurgents who approached interim leader Hamid Karzai with a potential deal that would have seen the militants recognise the new administration.

(Photograph:AFP)

Agreement with United States

Arrested in Pakistan in 2010, Baradar was kept in custody until pressure from the United States saw him freed in 2018 and relocated to Qatar.

He was appointed head of the Taliban's political office in Doha, where he oversaw the signing of the agreement last year that led to the withdrawal of US forces and an end to their 20-year campaign.

(Photograph:AFP)

Hopes scotched for peace deal

The Taliban scotched any hopes of a negotiated peace deal with the Afghan government by overrunning the country in under a month, a lightning offensive that ended with them taking Kabul unopposed on August 15.

(Photograph:AFP)

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