THE new leader of Afghanistan is a blood soaked butcher who masterminded roadside bombs that killed hundreds of British soldiers.
Abdul Ghani Baradar is also a high ranking mullah who is a key player behind the Taliban’s brutal enslavement of women and beheadings.
The bespectacled 54-year-old has now arrived back in Afghanistan to a hero’s welcome.
Baradar is one of the founders of the Taliban and was friends with its fanatical one-eyed founder Mullah Omar, with the two marrying a pair of sisters.
He has spent his whole life fighting and was a key military commander when the Taliban first took over Afghanistan in 1996, becoming a senior figure in the government.
Baradar returned to being a military commander to fight the British and Americans who had kicked the Taliban out of power after 9/11.
He became infamous as being the mastermind behind the improvised explosive devices – sickeningly known as called ‘flowers’ by the Taliban -that claimed the lives of 224 British troops in Afghanistan.
According to Rob Clark, Defence Policy Associate at the Henry Jackson Society, Baradar has also shaped the Taliban’s brutal subjugation of women and its brutal executions.
“He’s not just a nobody fighter but is a mullah which means that he is part of the religious elite that rule the Taliban theocracy – in other words they rule along religious lines,” he said.
“He’s seen as upholding those views. Where that ties to where we are today is that the Taliban have announced they’ll respect women’s rights within religious guidelines – that’s what they’ve been doing for the last 30 year.
“Women’s rights within their notion of Sharia is just abominable – sending off girls as sex slaves and brides to fighters, not allowing girls into schools.”
Clark – a former soldier who fought in Afghanistan – said Baradar has blood on his hands from when the Taliban were last in power.
“When we saw the executions when the Taliban were in power, it’s not a stretch to imagine that he would have been responsible,” he said
“The fact that he is a Mullah and founding member of the Taliban adds to his ability enforce policy at the more brutal and extreme end based on Sharia law.
“Mullah’s have absolute control of the Taliban – they are the elite.”
In 2010, Baradar was arrested in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi by agents belonging to the Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistan's powerful spy agency.
He was photographed and paraded in chains in a bid to show Washington that Pakistani authorities took seriously their hunt for Taliban insurgents.
But Baradar was released in 2018 when the US intensified its effort to leave Afghanistan.
The cleric was flown to Qatar and became part of the Taliban's negotiating team andSeptember 2020, he held talks with then secretary of state Mike Pompeo, who was still hoping for a dignified US exit.
He arrived back in Afghanistan at the weekend as the Taliban took Kabul, with his supporters cheering and hugging him as he stepped off the plane.
Scarcely able to believe his good fortune he said: "We have reached a victory that wasn’t expected. We should show humility in front of Allah."
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