Taliban leader tapped as new Afghan president

Abdul Ghani Baradar will face many challenges upon taking office, both foreign and domestic.

By World Israel News Staff

Abdul Ghani Baradar, Taliban’s de facto leader in Afghanistan, has been named Afghanistan’s new president, according to three Taliban sources cited by Reuters.

Baradar, 53, is a co-founder of the Taliban in Afghanistan. While technically serving under supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada, he received the honorary title of mullah and has been serving as head of the political office of the Islamic organization since 2018.

In 2010 he was imprisoned by Pakistan after leading a Taliban faction in the country and was released in 2018 at the request of the U.S., beginning his path that eventually led to the takeover of Afghanistan three years later.

Other than Baradar, the Taliban sources also indicated that Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, son of late Taliban founder Mullah Omar, will take senior positions in the new government.

“All the top leaders have arrived in Kabul, where preparations are in final stages to announce the new government,” one Taliban official told Reuters.

Baradar will face many challenges upon taking office, both foreign and domestic. Afghanistan is battling with an ongoing drought and with the ramifications of the 20-year-old conflict that has killed over 200,000 Afghans and has crippled the war-torn country’s economy.

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And the Taliban faces challenges on other fronts as well. While indicting that the organization will impose a flexible version of its Islamic Sharia Law, the U.S. and other Western countries have expressed doubts on these claims. A coalition of some 100 countries is currently working on a statement that will define the expectations from the Taliban on both domestic and foreign issues.

And yet, it seems like the Taliban, an Islamist religious terror organization responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians and Western troops, is slowly but surely gaining the confidence of the world and may soon be recognized as the rightful leader of Taliban.