Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a co-founder of the Taliban and a seasoned military leader, has been named one of Time magazine’s 100 most important people for 2021.
Veteran writer Ahmed Rashid wrote Baradar’s profile, describing him as a “very religious character” and a charismatic military leader.
He’s also one of the group’s moderate faces, as his profile correctly depicts.
Ahmed Rashid: "A quiet, secretive man who rarely gives public statements or interviews, Baradar nonetheless represents a more moderate current within the Taliban, the one that will be thrust into the limelight to win Western support" #TIME100 https://t.co/YC6MfwgS56
— TIME (@TIME) September 16, 2021
“Despite being a modest, discreet guy who seldom offers public remarks or interviews, Baradar symbolizes a more moderate current within the Taliban, one that will be forced into the spotlight in order to garner Western backing and critically needed financial help.
His profile states, “The issue is whether the guy who persuaded the Americans out of Afghanistan can sway his own movement.”
Afghan women’s rights campaigner Mahbouba Seraj, US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping, former US President Donald Trump, and recently elected Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi are among the others who have made the list.
Baradar ‘s early Life
In 1968, Baradar was born in the war-torn Uruzgan region of Afghanistan and reared in Kandahar, the country’s second-largest city.
In the 1980s, Baradar, like most Afghan commanders at the time, took up weapons against Soviet forces and battled them. After the Soviets left Afghanistan, the nation descended into a raging civil war as the mujahideen struggled for control of territory.
Mullah Baradar was depressed by the civil war and fled to Kandahar, where he founded a religious school alongside Mohammad Omar.
In the early 1990s, Mullah Baradar assisted Mullah Omar in founding the Taliban organization. He was good friends with Mullah Omar and married his sister.
Mullah Omar is reported to have given him the name “Baradar,” which means “brother.”
From 1996 until 2001, Baradar was a prominent military and administrative figure in the Taliban regime. When the Taliban were deposed in 2001, he was working as the deputy minister of defense.
After the US invasion, he fled to Pakistan and was apprehended in 2010. On social media, photos of him being paraded in shackles by Pakistani officials were widely circulated.