KABUL – Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban key leader and acting deputy prime minister of Afghanistan, has rejected rumours about his death.
The co-founder of the group has released an audio message, stating that he is alive and doing well. He called the rumours circulating on social media as fake propaganda.
Baradar in an audio clip said that news is doing rounds about his death. “Over the past few days I have been away on trips. We are all safe, all my brothers and friends,” he said.
Saying media always spread fake propaganda, he urged people to not put ear on such rumours.
There have been rumours about the death of the Taliban leaders and such information used to turn out wrong.
The Taliban’s supreme leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada, was also rumoured to have died for several years but the group recently announced that he is in Kandhar.
On September 7, the Taliban announced their interim government, naming Mohammad Hasan Akhund as prime minister and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar as one of deputy premiers.
Who is Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar?
Baradar was born in the Afghan province of Uruzgan in 1968, and was raised in Kandahar.
He also fought against Soviet invasion and also believed to have fought alongside Mullah Omar, the Afghan mujahid commander who later headed the group when it founded the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in 1996.
The two Afghan leaders later founded the Taliban movement in the early 1990s when the country was facing civil war following the Soviet withdrawal.
Baradar went into hiding in 2001 when the US toppled the Taliban’s government while he continued to lead the group in exile.
Belong to Popalzai tribe, he was arrested by Pakistani forces in 2010. He remained in Pakistani custody until the US put pressure on to free him in 2018.
After his release, he went to Qatar where he was appointed head of the Taliban’s political office, and he represented Taliban during the signing of the withdrawal agreement with the Americans.
On this Sunday, Taliban managed to took control of Afghanistan after President Ashraf Ghani fled Kabul, paving way for the group to claim victory.