From Hunted and Jailed Taliban Warlord to Public Face of Afghanistan: Who is Abdul Ghani Baradar?

As the US and NATO began their withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban* embarked on an offensive, finally seizing the capital, Kabul, on 15 August. As the government collapsed and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country “to avoid bloodshed”, Abdul Ghani Baradar is likely to become president of the war-torn country.

With the Taliban’s sweeping offensive having now culminated in it taking over the presidential palace in Afghanistan, forcing former President Ashraf Ghani to flee the country, an Afghan militant who was co-founder of the Islamist group is deemed likely to become the new President.

Abdul Ghani Baradar, who was an insurgent military commander, has returned to Afghanistan and is expected to head the country’s new government. He arrived in the southern province of Kandahar after a 20-year exile on Tuesday as part of a delegation of top Taliban officials, a spokesman for the group, Mohammad Naeem, tweeted.

From Warlord to Political Strategist

Abdul Ghani Baradar was born in the Afghani province of Uruzgan in 1968, and was raised in the birthplace of the Taliban movement – Kandahar. He fought alongside the Afghan Mujahideen against the Soviet forces in the 1980s.
Over a period of 10 years, the Soviet Union undertook military efforts in Afghanistan as part of an attempt to back the ruling People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan.

However, the US maintained firm support for the rebels opposing the Soviet-backed government, and after the 1988 peace accord…

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