Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban leader freed from a Pakistani jail on the request of the US less than three years ago, has emerged as an undisputed victor of the 20-year war. He is already at the Presidential palace in Kabul City for a ‘transfer’ of power with Mullah Baradar likely to become the new President. He is reputedly one of those leading militants who favour talks with the US and the Afghan government.Born in Uruzgan province in 1968, he fought in the Afghan mujahideen against the Soviets in the 1980s. After the Russians were driven out in 1992 and the country fell into civil war between rival warlords, Baradar set up a madrassa in Kandahar with his former commander and reputed brother in law, Mohammad Omar.
In a breaking development, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani tendered his resignation as the government surrendered to the Taliban forces in Kabul on Sunday. According to sources, Taliban negotiators have moved to the Afghan presidential palace to prepare for a ‘transfer’ of power. Following talks between the Afghan government and Taliban negotiators, an interim government led by the Taliban has been announced. The new Afghanistan government will reportedly be led by top Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. As per sources, Mullah Baradar has the support of Qatar, which has been helping the Taliban and Afghan Government to negotiate. The Qatar Government has been leading a USA Brokered deal between the talibans and the Ashraf Ghani Government.
WHO IS MULLAH ABDUL GHANI BARADAR
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was raised in Kandahar — the birthplace of the Taliban movement. 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 founding father of the Taliban Movement.
The two would go on to found the Taliban movement in the early 1990s amid the chaos and corruption of the civil war that erupted after the Soviet withdrawal.Following the Taliban’s collapse in 2001, Baradar is believed to have been among a small group of insurgents who approached interim leader Hamid Karzai with a letter outlining a potential deal that would have seen the militants recognize the new administration.
Abdul Mullah Baradar was trucked down by the CIA and was arrested in Pakistan in 2010 and he was kept in custody until pressure from the United States saw him freed in 2018 and relocated to Qatar on advise of the USA Government.. It was at that time a US Advised the Talibans to form a political bureau with coordination centre in Qatar
This is where he was appointed head of the Taliban’s political office and oversaw the signing of the withdrawal agreement with the Americans.
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is one of the four men who founded the Taliban movement in Afghanistan in 1994.He went on to become a linchpin of the insurgency after the Taliban were toppled by the US-led invasion in 2001.He was eventually captured in a joint US-Pakistani raid in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi in February 2010.
At the time of his arrest he was said to be second-in-command to the Taliban’s spiritual leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, and one of his most trusted commanders.Mullah Omar would later on die during a US military strike in 2013 and his son announced him dead after two years. Senior Afghan officials hope that a senior figure like him could persuade the Taliban to engage in talks with Kabul – a critical part of the government’s plan to ensure stability after Nato combat troops withdraw in 2014.
After helping found the Taliban movement in 1994, Mullah Baradar developed a profile as a military strategist and commander.A key Taliban operative, he was believed to be in day-to-day command of the insurgency and its funding.He held important responsibilities in nearly all the major wars across Afghanistan, and remained top commander of Taliban’s formation in the western region (Herat) as well as Kabul.
At the time, the Taliban were toppled he was their deputy minister of defence. His wife is Mullah Omar’s sister. He controlled the money. He was launching some of the deadliest attacks against Afghanistan security forces,” an Afghan official who did not want to be named stated at the time of his arrest.
Before his 2010 capture, he made few public statements. But one of those statements was in July 2009, when he apparently engaged in an email exchange with Newsweek magazine. Asked for a reaction to the US troop surge in Afghanistan, he said the Taliban wanted to inflict maximum losses on the Americans.
According to Interpol, Mullah Baradar was born in Weetmak village in Dehrawood district, in the Uruzgan province of Afghanistan, in 1968.But he is also known to be part of the Popalzai branch of Durrani tribe, the same as former Afghan President Hamid Karzai. He is reported to have stayed in touch with Mr Karzai’s brother, Ahmad Wali Karzai, who was head of the Kandahar provincial council from 2005 until his assassination in July 2011.
While Haibatullah Akhundzada is the Taliban’s overall leader, Baradar is its political chief and its most public face. In a televised statement on the fall of Kabul, he said the Taliban’s real test would only just beginning, meeting the expectations of the Afghan people.Baradar’s return to power embodies Afghanistan’s inability to escape the bloody shackles of its past. The story of his adult life is the story of the country’s unceasing, pitiless conflict.
Born in Uruzgan province in 1968, he fought in the Afghan mujahideen against the Soviets in the 1980s. After the Russians were driven out in 1992 and the country fell into civil war between rival warlords, Baradar set up a madrassa in Kandahar with his former commander and reputed brother in law, Mohammad Omar. Together, the two mullahs founded the Taliban, a movement spearheaded by young Islamic scholars dedicated to the religious purification of the country and the creation of an emirate.
Fuelled by religious fervour, widespread hatred of the warlords and substantial support from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, the Taliban swept to power in 1996 after a series of stunning conquests of provincial capitals taking the world by surprise, just as the movement has done in recent weeks. Baradar, Mullah Omar’s deputy who was widely believed to be a highly effective strategist, was a key architect of those victories.
Baradar played a succession of military and administrative roles in the five-year Taliban regime, and by the time it was ousted by the US and its Afghan allies, he was deputy minister of defence. During the Taliban’s 20-year exile, Baradar had the reputation of being a potent military leader and a subtle political operator. Western diplomats came to view him as on the wing of the Quetta Shura – the Taliban’s regrouped leadership in exile – that was most resistant to ISI control, and most amenable to political contacts with Kabul.
The Obama administration, however, was more fearful of his military expertise than it was hopeful about his supposedly moderate leanings.The CIA tracked him down to Karachi in 2010 and in February of that year persuaded ISI to arrest him.The capture of Baradar was predominantly instigated because of his role in the war rather than because of the likelihood that he was going to suddenly make peace,” a former official said. “The fact is, the Pakistanis held on to him all those years in large part because the United States asked them to.”
In 2018, however, Washington’s attitude changed and Donald Trump’s Afghan envoy,Zalmay Khalilzad, asked the Pakistanis to release Baradar so he could lead negotiations
Baradar signed the Doha agreement with the US in February 2020, in what the Trump administration hailed as a breakthrough towards peace.The US and Taliban agreement not to fight each other was supposed to be followed by power-sharing talks between the Taliban and the Kabul government of Ashraf Ghani. Those talks stumbled along with little progress, and it is clear now that Baradar and the Taliban were playing for time, waiting for the Americans to leave and preparing a final offensive. Baradar’s life has taught him patience and confidence in ultimate victory..
“Baradar is a highly experienced military commander and keen political strategist and played a major role in organizing the insurgency in its formative years.
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