Thinking Citizen Blog — Taliban Leaders: Haibatullah Akundzada, Mohammad Hassan Akund, Sirajuddin Haqqani
Thinking Citizen Blog — Monday is Foreign Policy Day
Today’s Topic: Taliban Leaders: Haibatullah Akundzada, Mohammad Hassan Akund, Sirajuddin Haqqani
So who are the new rulers of Afghanistan? Today, a few notes on three of the top officials: the Supreme Leader, the Prime Minister, and the Interior Minister. All are somewhat shadowy figures of uncertain age. Are the real rulers in Islamabad? Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
HAIBATULLAH AKUNDZADA, SUPREME LEADER (1961 — )
1. “Akhundzada was appointed as Taliban supreme leader on 25 May 2016, succeeding Mansour, who had been killed in a US drone strike.”
2. “Two leading contenders for the role were Sirajuddin Haqqani, Mansour’s other deputy, and Mohammad Yaqoob, the son of founding leader Mohammad Omar. Akhundzada’s appointment surprised some, who saw him as the third ranked candidate, but a compromise choice to avoid resentment if either of the others was appointed.”
3. “He’s an Islamic fundamentalist who wants to govern the country under strict Shariah law.”
SIRAJUDDIN HAQQANI (born between 1973 and 1980)
1. Mr. Haqqani is on the FBI’s most wanted list, and the US is offering up to $10 million for information leading to his arrest.”
2. “In 2012 the Obama administration officially designated the Haqqani Network as a terrorist organization.”
3. “The Haqqani Network was founded by his father, who had a close relationship with bin Laden.”
MOHAMMAD HASSAN AKUND (born between 1945 and 1958)
1. Served as deputy foreign minister and then deputy prime minister in the first Taliban government (1996–2001)
2. “His appointment was seen as a compromise between the Taliban’s moderate and hardline figures.”
3. Member of the “Quetta Shura” (Council of Leaders) of the Taliban from 2002 — present.
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