Original title: Who is the unexpected appointment of the Taliban’s new acting prime minister?
According to CCTV news, on September 7, local time, the Afghan Taliban announced the formation of a new government and announced the government structure of the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” to the outside world, as well as a list of some government officials. Among them, Mohamed Hassan Ahund served as the acting prime minister.
This is an appointment that surprised the outside world. Earlier, it was widely believed that Abdul Ghani Baradar, the actual leader of the Taliban, might become the highest leader of the Taliban government. However, according to the list announced by the Taliban, Baradar Dahl served as the acting deputy prime minister.
Who is Hassan Ahund?
Considered to be influential but relatively mysterious
Foreign media reported that some experts analyzed that Ahund’s appointment as acting prime minister seemed to be a compromise in the power struggle behind the Taliban. As for the person of Ahund, the outside world thinks that he is an influential but relatively mysterious figure.
According to reports, Ahund is a Pashtun from Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. During the last time when the Taliban came to power, he served as the governor of Kandahar Province. Kandahar is the birthplace of the Taliban. He is one of the founding members of the Taliban and is considered to be closely related to the spiritual leader and supreme leader of the Taliban, Sheikh Shibatura Ahunzada. According to a source familiar with Taliban affairs, it was Ahunzada who proposed that Ahund be the acting prime minister.
Afghan Taliban spokesman Mujahid told reporters at a press conference on September 7 that the supreme leader of the Taliban, Ahunzada, will lead the country as an “Emir.” According to reports, Ahunzada is a Pashtun scholar of Sharia law in Afghanistan. In 2016, he succeeded Akhtar Mansour who died in a U.S. drone attack and became the supreme leader of the Taliban in Afghanistan. , Religious and military affairs have the highest authority. The word “Emir” comes from Arabic and means “a person who leads others.”
According to foreign media reports,Since the 1990s, Ahund has been an influential figure in Afghanistan. But unlike other Taliban leaders of that period, he did not participate in the Soviet-Afghan War in the 1980s. When the Taliban founder Mullah Mohamed Omar and his deputies fought against the Mujahideen, Ahund did not participate.
On the contrary, he is more regarded as the religious mentor of the Taliban. In the past 20 years, he has been a major member of the Shura Committee (“Sura” means “consultation”, the traditional Islamic political consultation method, established in 2001), the highest decision-making body of the Taliban, and has won a lot for himself. Reputation. “He is a religious leader, not a military figure, and is known for his character and dedication. “A Taliban leader said.
Little is known about Ahund in the West
So mysterious that even age is a mystery
External analysts believe that although Ahund is considered a religious leader, his role as an important leader of the Shura Committee also allows him to have a say in military affairs.
Asfandyar Mir, an analyst at the US Institute for Peace Research, has carefully studied the Taliban leadership. He said that, like many Taliban leaders, the West knows very little about Ahund. Even his age is a mystery. It is believed that Ahund is at least over 60 years old and may even be older. An EU sanctions notice marked his age as 76 years old.
The aforementioned Taliban source said: “He is very old, the oldest person in the Taliban (senior) ranks。”
In 2001, the Shura Committee, where Ahund worked, ordered the destruction of the World Heritage Bamiyan Buddha. At first, Omar had no intention of destroying these statues, but he was angry that UNESCO provided funds for the protection of this world heritage, while the United Nations was not angry about Afghanistan’s humanitarian assistance. Therefore, Omar sought advice from the Shura Committee, which ordered the destruction of these sixth-century statues, of which Ahund was a member.
This is a compromise in the struggle for power within the Taliban
Ahund served in the Taliban regime from 1996 to 2001. He first served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and then as Deputy Prime Minister. Like many incoming cabinet members, he was sanctioned by the United Nations for his role in the government.
However,His importance lies in the development of the Taliban’s religious identity. After the Taliban were expelled from Afghanistan in 2001, Ahund remained an influential existence, and he spent most of his time in exile in Pakistan. There, he provided spiritual and religious guidance to the Taliban during 2000 and 2010.
Today, the Taliban are roughly divided into two major factions: one is a political and military faction that performs daily activities, and the other is a conservative religious elite based on Deobandism.
The Afghan Taliban was originally scheduled to hold a ceremony to announce the formation of a new government on the afternoon of September 3, but the plan was postponed. A Taliban spokesman subsequently stated that the formation of a new government would not be announced until September 4 at the earliest. However, the list of some officials of the new government was not announced until September 7.
Earlier, some analysts said that the delay in the formation of a new government by the Taliban was related to the Panjshir war. However, Ali A. Oromi, a Middle East and Islamic historian at Pennsylvania State University, analyzed that the appointment of Ahund seemed to be a compromise in the power struggle of the Taliban.
Baradar, who was appointed as the acting deputy prime minister this time, served as Omar’s deputy in the early days of the Taliban, and later as the actual leader after Omar’s death. He is regarded as a potential head of state by many Afghan experts.Baradar isRepresentative of the Haqqani faction, this faction is one of the most radical factions of the Taliban. Baradar’s recent soothing language on women’s rights, cooperation with the international community, and amnesty for former government members runs counter to the ideology of the “Haqqani Network.”
There are political tensions between Baradar and the powerful “Haqqani Network”. The “Haqqani Network” is a faction of the Taliban. In recent years, the “Haqqani Network” has become the de facto diplomatic representative of the Taliban and has successfully gained support from other local organizations.
Oromi’s analysis believes that Ahond seems to be a compromise between Baradar supporters and “Haqqani Network” supporters. The Taliban’s repeated delays in the announcement of new government members may be a sign of division within the Taliban. In the final list of government officials announced, two members of the Haqqani Group will also serve in the Afghan government.
Whether this arrangement is permanent or temporary remains to be seen, butThis compromise may be a test of the Taliban, that is, how much role Ahund can play as a unified figure appointed by the organization.
Red Star News reporter Jiang Yijin