MAWLAWI Hibatullah Akhundzada is arguably the world’s strongest Islamic militant chief after the Taliban seized management of Afghanistan.
However little is understood concerning the cleric who has been dubbed “a ghost”.
Who’s Taliban chief Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada?
Even Akhundzada’s date of delivery is unsure though it’s usually mentioned to be both 1959 or 1961.
He’s thought to have been born within the Panjwayi district of Kandahar Province in Afghanistan.
Akhundzada prefers to function within the shadows relatively than submit bloodthirsty movies.
Even his missives to his followers are mentioned to not be written in his personal handwriting.
Whereas Akhundzada might not be a fighter he was fairly ready to let his son, 23, die in a suicide bombing mission on an Afghan base.
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As a result of Akhundzada being a reclusive determine little is understood about him and a few have even questioned if he actually exists, referring to him as a “ghost”.
He solely sometimes points written communiques and avoids public appearances resulting from fears of being assassinated.
Akhundzada joined the phobia group in 1994, the yr it was shaped.
But it surely appears he rose by the ranks not as a fighter however as a spiritual scholar, upholding the group’s hardline edicts by the dreaded “vice and advantage” police.
By 2001, when the Taliban was ousted by US forces, he was one among Mullah Omar’s trusted internal circle.
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He took over on the head of the Taliban in 2016 after Mullah Akhthar Mansour was killed by a US drone strike.
His place was cemented the next yr after he let his personal 23-year-old son volunteer for a suicide bombing at an Afghan military base.
His status has additionally taken on an air of mythology after a narrative emerged about how he’s mentioned to have survived an assassination try in 2012 by what the Taliban declare was a bunch of presidency assassins.
A former affiliate advised the New York Instances in 2016: “Throughout one among his lectures, a person stood among the many college students and pointed a pistol (at Akhundzada) from an in depth vary, however the pistol caught.”
Based on the story, Akhundzada didn’t even flinch.
Questions have additionally been raised about simply how hardline Akhundzada is.
Some declare he’s in opposition to softening the Taliban’s edicts in opposition to music and dancing whereas others say he’s open to ladies’s training.
Akhundzada although does seem to wish to curb the extra excessive Taliban brutality, even when it’s only a method to stop resistance to their rule.
He’s as soon as mentioned to have advised a bunch of Taliban officers: “Have you learnt why individuals help the federal government militias? It’s since you individuals minimize off their heads for receiving minor assist from an support company.”
Mullah Baradar, seated centre, is a co-founder of the Taliban[/caption]
Who’re the opposite Taliban leaders?
Abdul Ghani Baradar
One of many co-founders of the Taliban, Baradar now heads the political workplace of the Taliban and is a part of the negotiating workforce that the group has in Doha to try to thrash out a political deal that would pave the way in which for a ceasefire and extra lasting peace in Afghanistan.
The method did not make vital headway in current months.
Baradar, reported to have been one among Mullah Omar’s most trusted commanders, was captured in 2010 by safety forces within the southern Pakistani metropolis of Karachi and launched in 2018.
The son of distinguished mujahideen commander Jalaluddin Haqqani, Sirajuddin leads the Haqqani community, a loosely organized group that oversees the Taliban’s monetary and navy belongings throughout the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
The Haqqanis are believed by some consultants to have launched suicide bombing to Afghanistan and have been blamed for a number of high-profile assaults in Afghanistan together with a raid on Kabul’s prime lodge, an assassination try on then-President Hamid Karzai and a suicide assault on the Indian embassy.
Haqqani is believed to be in his late 40s or early 50s. His whereabouts are unknown.
Mullah Mohammed Yaqoob
The son of Taliban founder Mullah Omar, Yaqoob oversees the group’s navy operations, and native media experiences have mentioned he’s inside Afghanistan.
He was proposed as general chief of the motion throughout numerous succession tussles, however he put ahead Akhundzada in 2016 as a result of he felt he lacked battlefield expertise and was too younger, in line with a Taliban commander on the assembly the place Mansour’s successor was chosen.
Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai
A former deputy minister within the Taliban’s authorities earlier than its ouster, Stanekzai has lived in Doha for almost a decade, and have become the pinnacle of the group’s political workplace there in 2015.
He has taken half in negotiations with the Afghan authorities, and has represented the Taliban on diplomatic journeys to a number of international locations.
Abdul Hakim Haqqani
He’s head of the Taliban’s negotiating workforce.
The Taliban’s former shadow chief justice heads its highly effective council of non secular students and is extensively believed to be somebody whom Akhundzada trusts most.
Who’s subsequent in line if Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada dies?
Whereas there isn’t any apparent line of succession within the Taliban’s construction Baradar is rising as Akhundzada’s deputy.
Baradar is the group’s political chief and its most public face.
In a televised assertion on the autumn of Kabul, he mentioned the Taliban’s actual check was simply starting and that they needed to serve the nation.
He was Mullah Omar’s deputy and seen as a key architect in bringing the Taliban to energy after the Soviets left Afghanistan.
By the point the US swept away the Taliban Baradar was deputy minister of defence with a status as a a delicate political operator.
Baradar signed the Doha settlement with the US in February 2020.