Who is Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban leader who may become new Afghanistan president?
Taliban's Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is likely to be declared as Afghanistan’s new president.
Current President Ashraf Ghani and other top diplomats have already left the country after the Taliban seized control of Kabul and all the top provincial capitals of Afghanistan. With its victory, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has emerged as the undisputed leader of the insurgent group.
Baradar is one of the co-founders of the Taliban.
However, he now heads the political office of the insurgent group and is part of the negotiating team that the group has in Doha, Qatar.
Baradar, reported to have been one of the trusted commanders of Taliban founder Mullah Omar, was captured in 2010 by security forces in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi and released in 2018.
Born in Uruzgan province in 1968, he is the second senior-most leader in the Taliban hierarchy after Haibatullah Akhundzada.
Baradar was raised in Kandahar, which also happens to be the birthplace of the Taliban movement.
His life was forever altered by the Soviet invasion of the country in the late 1970s, transforming him into an insurgent. He was believed to have fought side-by-side with Mullah Omar.
Baradar played a succession of military and administrative roles in the five-year Taliban regime in Afghanistan as deputy minister of defence till the militia was overthrown by the US and its Afghan allies back then.
The Taliban, which has now become the dominant force in Afghanistan seeking to change the power equations in the country, ran one of the world's most repressive governments from 1996 to 2001.
There were public executions, stonings, strict interpretations of Sharia, or Islamic religious law, women not being allowed to work, and girls not allowed to attend school.
Women had to cover their faces and be accompanied by a male relative if they wanted to venture out of their homes. Men were not allowed to trim their beards.
Now, the group is seeking to present a more moderate face.
As the militant group seized the capital, it said all those who have previously worked and helped the invaders (Western troops), or are now standing in the ranks of the corrupt administration of Kabul, the Islamic Emirate "has opened its door for them and have announced for them amnesty."