MAWLAWI Hibatullah Akhundzada is arguably the world’s strongest Islamic militant chief after the Taliban seized management of Afghanistan.
However little is understood in regards to the cleric who has been dubbed “a ghost”.
Who’s Taliban chief Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada?
Even Akhundzada’s date of beginning 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.
Resulting from 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 often points written communiques and avoids public appearances as a consequence of fears of being assassinated.
Akhundzada joined the phobia group in 1994, the yr it was fashioned.
But it surely appears he rose by means of the ranks not as a fighter however as a non secular scholar, upholding the group’s hardline edicts by means of the dreaded “vice and advantage” police.
By 2001, when the Taliban was ousted by US forces, he was one in all Mullah Omar’s trusted interior circle.
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He took over on the head of the Taliban in 2016 after Mullah Akhtar 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 fame 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 instructed the New York Occasions in 2016: “Throughout one in all his lectures, a person stood among the many college students and pointed a pistol (at Akhundzada) from a detailed vary, however the pistol caught.”
In line with the story, Akhundzada didn’t even flinch.
Questions have additionally been raised about simply how hardline Akhundzada is.
Some declare he’s towards softening the Taliban’s edicts towards music and dancing whereas others say he’s open to ladies’s schooling.
Akhundzada although does seem to need to curb the extra excessive Taliban brutality, even when it’s only a option to stop resistance to their rule.
He’s as soon as mentioned to have instructed a bunch of Taliban officers: “Have you learnt why folks help the federal government militias? It’s since you folks lower off their heads for receiving minor assist from an assist company.”
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 crew 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 latest months.
Baradar, reported to have been one in all 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 property throughout the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
The Haqqanis are believed by some specialists 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 resort, 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 reviews 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 keeping 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, Stanekzai has lived in Doha for practically 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 nations.
Abdul Hakim Haqqani
He’s head of the Taliban’s negotiating crew.
The Taliban’s former shadow chief justice heads its highly effective council of non secular students and is broadly believed to be somebody whom Akhundzada trusts most.
Who’s subsequent in line if Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada dies?
Whereas there isn’t a 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 take a look at 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 fame as a a delicate political operator.
Baradar signed the Doha settlement with the US in February 2020.