Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, One of the Co-founders of Taliban, Likely to be Afghanistan’s New President

Taliban’s Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is likely to be declared as the Afghanistan’s new President, sources told CNN-News18.

Baradar is one of the co-founders of the Taliban, who now heads the political office of the insurgent group and is part of the negotiating team that the group has in Doha. Baradar, reported to have been one of the trusted commanders of Taliban founder Mullah Omar, was captured in 2010 by security forces in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi and released in 2018.

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 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 recognise the new administration.

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. This is where he was appointed head of the Taliban’s political office and oversaw the signing of the withdrawal agreement with the Americans.

(With Reuters inputs)

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