One of Taliban’s Low-Profile ‘Original 30’ Likely to Head Afghanistan

After days of consultations, the Taliban have nominated Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund as the new head of state, according to senior leaders, a media report said.

Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund is presently head of the Taliban’s powerful decision-making body, Rehbari Shura or leadership council. He belongs to Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, and was among the founders of the armed movement.

“He worked for 20 years as head of Rehbari Shura and earned himself a very good reputation. He is a religious leader rather than a military background and is known for his character and devotion,” a Taliban leader was quoted in The News International’s report.

According to the Taliban, Mullah Hassan had worked on important positions during their previous government in Afghanistan. He was foreign minister and then made deputy prime minister when Mullah Mohammad Rabbani Akhund was the prime minister.

He was also the Governor of Kandahar, Vice President of the Council of Ministers in 2001. According to the UN he is one of “30 original Taliban”

According to Washington DC based, National Security Archive, “Akhund holds prejudices against both westerners and the mujahadeen. Considered one of the most effective commanders. Studied at various madrassas in Pakistan.”

By 2001 he rose in the ranks, to supervise the ministries of defense, intelligence, interior, supreme court, culture and communications, academy.

He was also reported to have been captured in 2010.

He is considered to be a relatively lesser known Taliban leader and is referred to as “lightweight” in several media reports. While he is on a UN terror list.

Disagreements between the extremist group’s multiple factions have so far stymied government formation in the war-torn nation. Kabul fell to Taliban three weeks ago.

The main contenders for power, whose struggles delayed the announcement of a new regime, include the Doha unit of the Taliban headed by Mullah Baradar, the Haqqani Network, a semi-independent terror outfit that operates in eastern Afghanistan, and the Kandahar faction of the Taliban.

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