Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar: 'The Butcher' set to take over Afghan presidency
After almost three weeks since the militant group Taliban took control of Afghanistan, reports of Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, taking control of the new Taliban-led government in Afghanistan have surfaced. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is nicknamed "Baradar the Butcher". The new Taliban-led government, however, is yet to be announced.
According to reports, Baradar is currently in charge of the Taliban’s political office and is set to be joined by Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob and Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, in senior government positions soon, reports say. Yaqoob is the son of late Taliban co-founder Mullah Omar. Sources within the militant group also added that the Taliban’s supreme religious leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada will focus on religious matters and how to govern within the framework of Islam.
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A Taliban official reportedly said, "All the top leaders have arrived in Kabul, where preparations are in final stages to announce the new government." Sources also cite that the Taliban are considering forming a government made up solely of Taliban members, despite claiming to form a consensus government initially. The new government will have 25 ministries and a consultative council of 12 Muslim scholars, reports say. Baradar is said to have arrived in Kabul two weeks ago, 'eyeing presidency'.
Baradar was known to be a top aide of the late Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, having started the militant group together in 1994. According to reports, Baradar also had ties with former US president Donald Trump, who had allegedly released him from a Pakistani prison in 2018. Two years later, in 2020, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had met with Baradar in a highly publicized conference of two, where they signed the Doha agreement, and agreed that the US and Taliban would not be fighting each other.
According to a 2010 profile in the Times of London, Baradar is known for some of the Islamic militants’ most deadly tactics, including planting improvised explosive devices along streets their enemies would be on, calling the IEDs 'flowers'. Baradar is said to be the only surviving Taliban leader to have been personally appointed deputy by the late Taliban commander Mullah Mohammed Omar. Reports also claim that Baradar is married to the leader's sister.