Abdul Ghani Baradar
|First Vice Emir of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan|
|Assumed office |
17 August 2021
|Born||1968 (age 52–53)|
Weetmak, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (August 15, 2021 - present)
Afghan Civil War (1996–2001)
War in Afghanistan
Abdul Ghani Baradar (Pashto/Dari: عبدالغنی برادراخوند; born about 1968) is an Afghan militant who was one of the founders of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the deputy of its first leader, Mohammed Omar. He is known by the honorific Mullah, and Omar nicknamed him 'Baradar', which means 'brother', or Mullah Brother. Baradar was arrested in Pakistan by Pakistani intelligence forces in early 2010 and was released on 24 October 2018 at the request of the United States. Since his release he has played an increasingly influential role within the Afghan Taliban movement.
Baradar was born in about 1968 in the Weetmak village of Deh Rahwod District in Uruzgan Province of Afghanistan. He is a Durrani Pashtun of the Sadozai tribe which is sub-tribe of Popalzai. He and Mohammed Omar became friends when they were teenagers.
He fought during the 1980s in the Soviet–Afghan War in Kandahar (mainly in the Panjwayi area), serving as Omar's deputy in a group of Afghan mujahideen against the Soviet-backed Afghan government. Omar gave him the nom de guerre 'Baradar', which means 'brother', because of their close friendship. He later operated a madrassa in Maiwand, Kandahar Province, alongside Omar. According to Western media, Omar and Baradar may be brothers-in-law via marriage to two sisters. In 1994, he was one of four men, including Omar, who founded the Taliban in southern Afghanistan.
During Taliban rule (1996–2001), Baradar held a variety of posts. He was reportedly governor of Herat and Nimruz provinces, and/or the Corps Commander for western Afghanistan. An unclassified U.S. State Department document lists him as the former Deputy Chief of Army Staff and Commander of Central Army Corps, Kabul while Interpol states that he was the Taliban's Deputy Minister of Defense.
Following the 11 September 2001 attacks, the United States invaded Afghanistan and deposed the Taliban with the help of Afghan forces. Baradar fought against the U.S.-supported Northern Alliance and, according to Newsweek, "hopped on a motorcycle and drove his old friend [Omar] to safety in the mountains" in November 2001 as Taliban defenses were crumbling. One story holds that a U.S.-linked Afghan force actually seized Baradar and other Taliban figures sometime that month, but Pakistani intelligence secured their release. Another story reported by Dutch journalist Bette Dam contends that Baradar actually saved Hamid Karzai's life when the latter had entered Afghanistan to build an anti-Taliban force.
The new Afghan government was organized in accordance with the December 2001 Bonn Agreement; Hamid Karzai served as interim leader and later President of Afghanistan. Baradar now found himself fighting international forces and the newly formed Afghan government. Many fellow Taliban commanders were killed over the years following the initial invasion, including Baradar's rival Dadullah who was killed in Helmand Province in 2007. Baradar eventually rose to lead the Quetta Shura and became the de facto leader of the Taliban, directing the insurgency from Pakistan. Temperament-wise he has been described as acting as "an old-fashioned Pashtun tribal head" and a consensus builder.
Despite his military activities, Baradar was reportedly behind several attempts to begin peace talks, specifically in 2004 and 2009, and widely seen as a potentially key part of a negotiated peace deal.
Baradar was arrested by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in late January or early February 2010 in Karachi. Pakistan only confirmed the arrest a week later and Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik denied reports that US agents had been involved in the arrest. According to New York Times reporting soon after the arrest, American intelligence agencies had tipped off Pakistani counter-terror officers about a meeting of militants with a possible link to Baradar, but that it was only after several men had been arrested that they realised one was Baradar himself. According to New York Times reporting months later, Pakistani officials were then claiming that they had been targeting Baradar himself, because he had been secretly discussing a peace deal with the Afghan government without the involvement of Pakistan, who had long supported the Taliban. They claimed that the ISI tracked Baradar's cell phone to an area of Karachi, called on the CIA to use a more sophisticated tracking device to find his precise location, and then the Pakistanis moved in to arrest him. The New York Times concluded that events and motives were still unclear. The story was only lightly covered in the Pakistani press when it initially broke, except for the newspaper Dawn, which published detailed information.
Although some analysts saw Baradar's arrest as a significant shift in Pakistan's position, others claimed that Pakistan arrested Baradar to stop his negotiations with the Karzai government, so that Pakistan would get a seat at the table – because an agreement between the Taliban and the Karzai government could deprive Pakistan of influence in Afghanistan. Another view contended that Pakistani General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani was using the series of Taliban arrests to help extend his own career beyond his slated November 2010 retirement date, the theory being that this would raise his standing among American policymakers and thus pressure the Pakistani government to retain him.
The Afghan government was reportedly holding secret talks with Baradar and his arrest was said to have infuriated President Hamid Karzai. Despite repeated claims that Pakistan would deliver Baradar to Afghanistan if formally asked to do so, and that his extradition was underway, he was expressly excluded from the list of Taliban leaders planned to be released by Pakistan in November 2012. Abdul Qayyum Zakir became the Taliban military leader after Baradar's arrest. Nine Taliban leaders, but not Baradar, were released on 23 November 2012.
On 25 October 2018, the Taliban confirmed that Pakistan had released Baradar. He was subsequently appointed to be the chief of the Taliban's diplomatic office in Doha, Qatar. Washington special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad claimed that Baradar was released at the request of the United States.
On 17 August 2021, Baradar returned to Afghanistan for the first time since the fall of the original Taliban government in 2001. It was rumoured that Baradar will become the president of Afghanistan following the overthrow of the government of Ashraf Ghani by the Taliban in August 2021.
'a big success for our mutual efforts in the region,' spokesman Robert Gibbs said, breaking the White House's silence on the capture of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
The capture of Baradar and the Afghan Taliban governors is only the most recent and highly visible signal of the possible shift.
An agreement between the Taliban and the Karzai government could deprive Pakistan of influence in next-door Afghanistan.
'We are disappointed that the Pakistanis did not release Mullah Beradar', a member of an Afghan peace delegation said, 'but we are very happy that it made the decision to release some of the detainees'.
'In accordance with the decree issued by the Leader of Islamic Emirate, the esteemed Mullah Abdul Ghani Beradar has been appointed as the deputy of the Leader in Political Affairs and the chief of the Political Office of the Islamic Emirate,' the Taliban statement said.
Presented content of the Wikipedia article was extracted in 2021-08-26 based on https://en.wikipedia.org/?curid=26215955