Taliban: 8 things to know about Afghanistan new leader, Mohammad Hassan Akhund
A senior Taliban official, Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, was on Tuesday, named the head of Afghanistan’s new government.
The spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid announced the appointment to the media in Kabul.
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, head of the political office, was appointed as Akhund’s deputy.
Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, son of late Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar, was named as defence minister.
Sirajuddin Haqqani, son of the founder of the Haqqani network (a U.S. designated terror group), is the interior minister.
The emergence of Akhund was not entirely unexpected although some had thought Baradar would lead the government.
Here are eight things to know about the new leader…
– Akhund, in his 60s, hails from Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban.
– Akhund has Pashtun lineage from Ahmad Shah Durrani, the founder of modern Afghanistan (circa 1700s).
– Akhund is the author of several works on Islam.
– Akhund was an associate of the late founder, Mullah Mohammad Omar.
– Akhund has been close to current supreme leader, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada for two decades.
– Akhund is longtime chief of the Taliban’s powerful leadership council, Rehbari Shura.
– Akhund is more of a political than a religious figure. His standing in the council gives him influence over the military.
– Akhund was foreign minister and later deputy prime minister when the Taliban were in power from 1996-2001.
The Taliban seized power in August after dethroning civil authority, the climax of a 20-year war with Afghan and United States-led coalition forces.
Fighters claimed victory in the Panjshir valley, the last province to be conquered, after days of fighting with the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRFA).
The jihadist movement has vowed to impose Islamic law in all countries of the world.