Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Peace process

Translation of the biographies of the Taleban negotiation team

AAN 21 min

AAN’s translation of the biographies of the Taleban negotiation team members from the original Dari published by the Taleban here, on 12 September 2020, the same day intra-Afghan negotiations began in Doha.

AAN has published biographies of the team, drawing on a wide range of sources, here.

Honourable Sheikh Mawlawi Abdul Hakim

Mawlawi Sheikh Abdul Hakim, son of the late Mawlawi Khodaidad Saheb, was born in Band Timur area of Maiwand district of Kandahar province in the year 1336 [1957]. At the beginning of the Islamic Movement of the Taleban, he was a friend of the late Amir ul-Muminin, Mullah Muhammad Omar Mujahed and had an important role in founding the movement. During the rule of the Islamic Emirate, in addition to teaching at the Jihadi Madrassa in Kandahar, he served in the Riyasat-e Tamiz [Department of the Court of Cassation, the Emirate-era equivalent of the Supreme Court] and at the Dar ul-Ifta-ye Markazai [Central House/Department of Fatwa]. After the American invasion of the country, under the guidance of the late Amir ul-Muminin Mullah Muhammad Omar Mujahed, he played a major role in the current structure of the courts. When Amir ul-Muminin Sheikh Hibatullah Akhundzada was the head of the Supreme Court, Sheikh Mawlawi Abdul Hakim Saheb was in charge of Mahkama-e Tamiz [Court of Cassation]. After the appointment of Sheikh Hibatullah Akhundzada as the leader of the Islamic Emirate, the affairs of the Supreme Court were handed over to Sheikh Mawlawi Abdul Hakim Saheb.

Sheikh Mawlawi Abdul Hakim Saheb is currently a member of the Leadership Council [aka Quetta Council] and head of the negotiation team of the Islamic Emirate.

Respected Sher Muhammad Abbas Stanekzai

Sher Muhammad Abbas Stanekzai, son of the late Haji Padshah Khan, was born in Abbas village [IDLG mentions it as Qala-ye Abbas] of Baraki Barak district of Logar province in 1338 [1959]. He completed his primary education at the village mosque and at the Omar Khan School in Kabul and graduated from the Kabul Military School.

Stanekzai Saheb was sent to India by Sardar Muhammad Daud Khan along with a number of [other] Afghan students for higher military education and after completing his military education, he joined the ranks of jihad against the Soviet occupation in 1360 [1981].

He served as a military instructor in the Jamiat-e-Islami and Ittehad-e-Islami tanzims [factions] and served as the military commander of the Ittehad-e-Islami in the southeastern   zone in 1364 [1985]. He participated in operations in Qalat, Kandahar Airport, Lashkar Gah and other big operations and at that time was acquainted with Mullah Burjan, Mullah Meshr and Mullah Muhammad Rabbani and other former elders of the Taleban. In 1369 [1990], he was appointed as the general military commander of Harakat-e-Inqelab-e-Islami and carried out this responsibility until the fall of Najib’s regime.

Stanekzai Saheb stayed at home during the factional fighting. When the Taleban movement started, he joined the Taleban. During the rule of the Taleban, he first served as deputy of foreign relations of Kandahar province, then as Deputy Foreign Minister in Kabul and then as Deputy Minister of Public Health.

After the United States invasion of the country, he once again initiated a military and political campaign. He was first a member of the Taleban’s political commission, then became its deputy. From August 2015 to January 2019, he served as the head of the political office of the Islamic Emirate. Stanekzai Saheb led the negotiating team of the Islamic Emirate in negotiations with the Americans and is currently a member of the Leadership Council, [as]deputy head of political office and the negotiating team.

Respected Mullah Muhammad Fazel Mazlum

Mullah Muhammad Fazel was born in Charchino district of Uruzgan province in 1345 [1966]. He has received primary and religious education from famous scholars of the time in various madrassas and mosques inside the country. Mullah Fazel Akhund memorised the Holy Quran at Guantanamo Bay prison. During the rule of the Islamic Emirate, he was the Deputy Minister of Defence and Chief of Staff. In the early days of the US invasion [of Afghanistan], Mullah Muhammad Fazel was captured in the north of the country and handed over to the US. He was transferred to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on 1 November 2001 and spent about 13 years there. He was finally released and transferred to Qatar on 1 June 2014, together with four other Taleban elders, as a result of an exchange with an American prisoner [Bowe Bergdahl]. In 2018, Mullah Muhammad Fazel Akhund was appointed as a member of the political office and the negotiating team [with the Americans]. He was then appointed as the deputy head of the negotiating team. He is currently a member of the Leadership Council, political office and negotiation team.

Respected Mawlawi Abdul Salam Hanafi

Mawlawi Abdul Salam Hanafi, son of Ali Mardan, was born in the Gardan village of Darzab district, which was then part of Faryab province and is now part of Jawzjan province, in the year 1348 [1969]. He completed his primary education at Sherbek [High] School [of Qush Teppa district of Jawzjan]. When the jihad began, he continued his religious education in his village. He studied sarf and nahw [Arabic grammar] and primary jurisprudence books in the area and then various arts, such as nahw, logic, hekmat [wisdom], rhetoric, jurisprudence, recitation and tajwid [proper recitation of the Holy Quran] from famous religious scholars in different districts of Sar-e Pul and Faryab provinces. In order to complete his education, he travelled to Pakistan where he studied big books of logic, mathematics, principles of jurisprudence, literature, debates, beliefs and translating the Holy Quran at Martung, Dagi and Peshawar. He then went to Dar ul-Ulum in Karachi [a famous religious school] to [study] hadith. There, he completed [his study of] the hadiths in the lunar year of 1414 [1993/4 NB ‘lunar year’ indicates the use of the Islamic calendar, which is different from the Persian solar calendar, although both start with the flight of the Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622]. In Bahawalpur, he re-read the books of usul ifta [principles of issuing fatwas], ahadith [hadiths], tafasir [interpretations of the Holy Quran] and fiqh [jurisprudence]. He later studied fatwa writing and inheritance at Jamia-ye Tafsir (Sham ul-Ulum) in Rahim Yar Khan. In addition to his religious studies, he used his vacation to also learn various languages, computer office programmes and hardware courses, as well as accounting. After graduation, Hanafi Saheb taught various arts and sciences from the dawra-ye khord [also known as dawra-ye kuchak, equal to secondary level] and Holy Tirmidhi [one of the six major hadith books in Sunni Islam] and inheritance. For three years, he taught Islamic culture at Kabul University’s Faculty of Law and Political Science.

In addition to his native Uzbek, he is familiar with Pashto, Persian, English, Arabic, Urdu, Kyrgyz, Turkmen and Turkish. When the Islamic movement of the Taleban began in Kandahar, Hanafi Saheb was a teacher and joined the Islamic movement of the Taleban along with his students and other ulema and the taleban [religious students] from Faryab province. During the rule of the Islamic Emirate, he first served as the Director of Education in Farah province and then for one year as the acting Minister for Education in Kabul and then was appointed as the Deputy Minister for Teaching in the same ministry. Following the American invasion in 2001, Hanafi Saheb was appointed by the Islamic Emirate as governor and in charge of jihad in Jawzjan province. After a while, [he was appointed as a] member of the political commission and also by the late Amir ul-Muminin, Mullah Muhammad Omar Mujahed, as a member of the Leadership Council. Hanafi Saheb is currently a member of the Leadership Council, deputy chief of the political office and a member of the negotiating team of the Islamic Emirate.

Respected Mullah Abdul Manan Omari

Mullah Abdul Manan Omari is from Maiwand district of Kandahar province and the brother of the late Amir ul-Muminin Mullah Muhammad Omar Mujahed. He has studied books of dawra-ye khord [equivalent of secondary level] [receiving religious education from] various eminent scholars in Afghanistan. In addition to serving on various commissions, he has chaired the Commission for Da’wah, Ershad [Invitation, Guidance] and Recruitment [successor to the Emirate-era Vice and Virtue police], as well as the Commission for the Prevention of Civilian Casualties and Complaints. He is currently a member of the Leadership Council and negotiating team of the Islamic Emirate.

Respected Mawlawi Abdul Kabir

Mawlawi Abdul Kabir, son of Muhammad Jan, was born in Tangi Zadran village of Tangi Tabqan area of Nahrin district of Baghlan province in 1972. He is a graduate of religious studies and an influential ethnic figure. During the rule of the Islamic Emirate, he served as governor of Logar and Nangrahar, director of tanzimiya [fighting operations] of the eastern zone and Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs to the head of the Council of Ministers [mu’awin eqtesadi-ye raes ul-wuzara]. He is one of the influential figures in the Islamic Emirate. He also headed the political commission for two years after 2005. Mawlawi Saheb is currently a member of the Leadership Council of the Islamic Emirate, head of the Commission for Invitation, Guidance and Recruitment and a member of the negotiating team.

Respected Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaki

Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaki, son of the late Haji Nader Khan, was born in the Zarghun village of Nad Ali district of Helmand province on 7 Hut 1349 [26 February 1971]. He completed his primary education in the village mosque and in the primary school of the area. After the communist coup of 7th Saur [27-28 April 1978], when many of our countrymen became refugees, he also emigrated from Helmand to neighbouring Pakistan with his family when he was still nine years old and in the third grade of school. He continued his religious studies during the Hejrat [migration] and started serving in the jihadi ranks upon coming of age. Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi completed his religious studies and finished the dawra-ye khord and kalan [equal to secondary and semi-higher levels] study periods of hadiths of the prophet (peace be upon him) after the [establishment] of the rule of Islamic Emirate in Kabul and graduated with a degree in religious studies. When the Islamic Movement of the Taleban began as a response to corruption and chaos, he joined the Taleban and started jihadi service within the framework of the movement. After the capture of Kandahar city, Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaki, as a member of the High Council of the Islamic Movement of the Taleban, was appointed as the manager of Kandahar Voice of Shariat Radio. Muttaki Saheb was appointed as the Director of Kandahar’s Department for Information and Culture in Sartan 1374 [June/July 1995] and continued this duty until the conquest of Kabul. When Kabul was conquered in Mizan 1375 [September/October 1996], Muttaqi Saheb was appointed as the acting Minister of Information and Culture in the same month. He served for several years as Minister of Information and Culture, at the same time as the spokesman for the Islamic Emirate and announced the Islamic Emirate’s positions to the media. Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaki was later appointed as the head of office for administrative affairs in Aqrab 1378 [October/November 1999) and after a while as the Minister of Education and served in this position until the American invasion. Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaki also led a delegation appointed by Amir ul-Muminin Mullah Muhammad Omar Mujahed to negotiate with the opposition. Under his leadership, the delegation held talks [with the opposition] in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, involving the P6 + 2, then in the Turkmenistan capital, Ashgabat and then in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, mediated by the Islamic Conference.

Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaki was the head of the Cultural Commission of the Islamic Emirate for many years during the jihad against the American invasion. With his innovative activities, he established a systematic jihadist publication apparatus against the enemy’s widespread media aggression and through an active cultural team, he played a key role in enlightening the minds about jihad and thwarting the enemy’s propaganda aggression. Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi is also a member of the Leadership Council. He was appointed as the chief of staff of the leader of the Islamic Emirate on 25/9/1439 [10 June 2018] and [has served as] the chief of staff of the leader for the last two years. Meanwhile, on 12/9/2019, he was also appointed as a member of the negotiating team for negotiations with the US. He is now a member of the negotiation team of the Islamic Emirate in intra-Afghan negotiations. 

Respected Mullah Nurullah Nuri

Mullah Nurullah Nuri, son of Mawlawi Ghulam Omaruddin, was born in the village of Cheshma Bahram Khel in Shajoi district of Zabul province in 1350 [1971]. He completed his primary and higher education in various madrassas and mosques inside the country. Nuri Saheb memorised twenty para of the Holy Quran [also known as juz, meaning the 30 sections that the Quran is conventionally split into for memorising] at Guantanamo prison and is fluent in Persian and Arabic in addition to his mother tongue [Pashto]. At a very young age, he took part in the jihad against the former Soviet invasion and began his political career within the framework of Harakat-e Enqelab-e Islami [the Islamic Revolutionary Movement]. 

Following the withdrawal of Soviet invaders in 1989, he, along with the talaba [religious students] from madrassas of his area, formed Etehad-e Tanzim Talaba [Alliance of Taleban Organisations) to prevent monkarat [vices] and establish order. Nuri Saheb was the deputy of this organisation. This tanzim [alliance] lasted for five years and carried out some important activities during this period. When the Taleban movement was started in Kandahar by the late Mullah Muhammad Omar Mujahed and Boldak was conquered, Nuri Saheb headed a delegation representing the Talebs [religious students] of his area [and] went to Kandahar and joined the late Amir ul-Muminin and was immediately assigned by the Amir ul-Muminin and got involved in military activity.

Prior to the conquest of Kabul, Nuri Saheb served as Deputy Police Chief of Khost Province and as governor of Maidan Wardak Province. After the conquest of Kabul, he served as the governor of Laghman province for two years, then as the governor of Baghlan province for one year and in the last years of the rule of the Islamic Emirate as the governor of Balkh province and the head of the tamziniya [fighting operations] for the northern zone.

He was captured in the north during the US invasion [of Afghanistan] and held at Guantanamo Bay for 13 years and several months. He was finally released along with four other mujahedin on 1 June 2014 as a result of an exchange between the mujahedin of the Islamic Emirate and the Americans transferred to Qatar. He was appointed as a member of the political office of the Islamic Emirate in 2018 and a member of the negotiating team in February 2019. He is currently a member of the Leadership Council, the political office and  the negotiating team of the Islamic Emirate.

Respected Qari Din Muhammad Hanif

Qari Din Muhammad Hanif, son of the late Qari Muhammad Nazir, was born in Spin Arzanchi village of Yaftal Sufla district of Badakhshan province in 1342 [1963].

He memorised the Holy Quran at the age of 15 and then began his elementary education with his late father. He was still pursuing his education when the sinister (manhus) coup d’état of seven Saur [27-28 April 1978] took place. With the coming to power of the communists and start of the jihad and armed uprising against this ominous phenomenon, religious schools and learning centres were suspended, destroyed or damaged by anti-religious and din-goriz [apostate] communists. Eventually, Hanif migrated to neighbouring Pakistan in 1364 [1985], where he continued his education in various madrassas in the frontier (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) province and completed the conventional sciences and arts including the dawra-ye kuchak (equivalent to secondary education) and intended to do the hadith course when the Islamic Movement of the Taleban started. Qari Din Muhammad Hanif, along with hundreds of other talebs (religious students) from Badakhshan joined this caravan[of the Taleban movement]. After the conquest of Kabul until the end of official rule of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, he served first as the Minister of Planning and then as the Minister of Higher Education.

After the occupation of the country and the resumption of the jihad against the occupiers, he was responsible for the jihad in Badakhshan in 2003. In 2004, he was appointed as a member of the political commission and also, based on the decree by the late Amir ul-Muminin Mullah Muhammad Omar Mujahed, as a member of the Leadership Council. Qari Din Muhammad Hanif is currently a member of the Leadership Council and the Negotiating Team and is in charge of the relations with the Central Asia countries in the political office.

Respected Mullah Abdul Latif Mansur

Mullah Abdul Latif Mansur, son of Alhaj Shahid Yar Muhammad, was born in Sahak Haibatkhel [we think this must be Haibatkhel sub-village of Sahak area] village of Zurmat district of Paktia province in 1346 [1967]. He went to school up to the fifth grade and then studied religious lessons up to the dawra [course] of hadith. From the very [first] time of being a taleb ul-elm (religious student), he was active in politics and began his political career as the head of the Da’wa [literally ‘invitation’, which could be convert to Islam/renew one’s faith as a Muslim/join the jihad] Organisation within the Organisation of Students in Harakat-e Enqelab-e Islami Afghanistan (the Islamic Revolution Movement of Afghanistan).

Mansur Saheb joined the Islamic Movement of the Taleban in the early [years of] the Taleban movement in 1373 [1994] and served in different areas. In 1373 [1994], he served as the deputy governor of Helmand as well as mayor of Kandahar for a brief period and in 1375 [1996] as the Minister of Livestock.

After the US occupation of the country, he was appointed as a member of the Leadership Council and military head of Paktia province. He was in charge of jihad for Paktia province for nine years. In addition, Mansur Saheb has served as the military chief of Nangrahar and Logar provinces and was appointed as the head of the Political Commission in 2008 for a brief period. Prior to his membership of the negotiation team and arrival in Qatar, he served as the chief of staff of the office of the leader and then as the head of the Agriculture and Livestock Commission. In February 2019, Mawlawi Abdul Latif Mansur was appointed as a member of the negotiating team for the negotiations with the Americans and is currently a member of the Leadership Council and a member of the negotiating team of the Islamic Emirate.

Respected Haji Mullah Shirin Akhund

Haji Mullah Abdullah Hanafi, known as Mullah Shirin Akhund, is the son of Haji Mullah Muhammad Ibrahim and from Sanzari village in Zhari district of Kandahar province. He received his elementary education from his family elders. His family was known for their education [in the area]. He acquired other education up to the dawra-ye (course) of hadith from different teachers in different parts. During his education, he performed various jihadi services as per the demands of time, due to which the continuity of his education was interrupted and he could not get a graduation document by completing his lessons. When the Soviets occupied our dear country, he was forced to stop his religious education and pay attention to [his] sharia obligation, which was the jihad against the Soviet occupation. He started his jihad from Turtaq Mountain in Zhari district of Kandahar province and continued his services to the jihad, first as an individual and a mujahed, then as a commander and deputy. With the start of the Islamic Movement, Mullah Shirin Akhund first joined it as an individual while continuing his personal business and when the house of the late Amir ul-Muminin Mullah Muhammad Omar Mujahed was targeted by a powerful explosion [on 24 August 1999], Mullah Shirin Akhund was appointed to be in charge of the security of the Amir ul-Muminin’s house. In 2001, when Americans invaded our country, he started jihad and armed resistance, serving first in the jihad as dalgai meshr (sergeant). Later, he served as the head of the Kandahar Provincial Military Commission, then as the head of the circle of the Military Commission of western region, then as governor of Herat and then as head of the Military Commission for the eastern and northern provinces. He was also in charge of the Islamic Emirate’s Intelligence Commission for a while and then assigned [to be] in charge of jihad for Kandahar. He has also served as the commander of Isteshhadi [literally martyrdom-seeking, ie suicide bomber] battalion for the western provinces. Recently, Mullah Shirin Akhund was appointed as a member of a member of the Leadership Council by the decree of the Amir ul-Muminin and now is also a member of the negotiation team of the Islamic Emirate.

Respected Sheikh Mawlawi Muhammad Qasem Rasekh

Sheikh Mawlawi Muhammad Qasem Rasekh, son of Mullah Juma Nazar, was born in Anpikal village of the Faizabad district of Jawzjan province in 1350 [1971]. He received his primary religious and modern education inside the country and his higher religious education in the Diyar-e Hejrat (place of migration). He completed the hadith course from Dar ul-Ulum Mazhar ul-Ulum, Dagi [possibly Dagi village in Swabi district of Pakhtunkhwa province, in Pakistan].  

He is one of the influential elders of the Turkman ethnic group and an eminent scholar and teacher of hadiths. Sheikh Muhammad Qasem Rasekh has taught sharia sciences in different religious schools for 15 years and also served as sheikh and teacher of hadiths in Diyar-e Hejrat (the time of migration) for ten years. He served as a member of the Da’wah wa Irshad (Invitation and Guidance) Commission of the Islamic Emirate and its provincial head of Jawzan province from 2007 to 2016. Sheikh Saheb served as the appeal judge of the Military Court for 20 eastern and northern provinces from 2016 to 2020. He is currently a member of the Leadership Council and a member of the negotiating team of the Islamic Emirate.

Respected Mawlawi Fariduddin Mahmud

Mawlawi Fariduddin Mahmud, son of the late Mawlawi Muhammad Alam, was born in Sharana, the capital of Paktika province. He received his primary religious education inside the country from his late reverend father and other eminent scholars and acquired the rest of his religious education in Mardan and Kohat areas [in Khyber Pakhtunkhaw] of Pakistan. Sheikh Mahmud Saheb completed dawra-ye kalan (higher level of study) hadiths from Dar ul-Ulum Haqqaniya in 1396 [1976] of the lunar year and received a graduation degree. During the reign of Daud Khan, he got introduced to and acquainted with the late Mawlawi Jalaluddin Haqqani and the martyred Mawlawi Nasrullah Mansur in 1395 [1975, but the date is wrong: Nasrullah Mansur was killed in 1371/1993]. After the victory of the mujahedin, he served as the governor of Paktika province. During the rule of the Islamic Emirate, he also served as the Deputy for Humanities at the Academy of Sciences in Kabul. Since the second invasion of the country, he has rendered services in the field of education and also as a member of the Riyasat-e Tamiz (Department of Cassation). He is currently a member of the negotiating team of the Islamic Emirate.

Respected Mawlawi Mati ul-Haq Khales

Mawlawi Matiul Haq Khales, son of famous Jihadi leader Mawlawi Muhammad Yunus Khales – rahmatullah [may God have mercy upon him] from Nabikhel tribe, was born in Nakarkhel village of Khogyani district of Nangrahar province in 1340 [1961]. He received his primary education from his reverend father and his two uncles, Mawlawi Muhammad Yusuf and Mawlawi Muhammad Ishaq Moheq and finished primary and middle schools in the [same] region. After the coup d’état of the communists, he migrated to neighbouring Pakistan in Sartan 1357 [June/July 1978] and completed the rest of his religious education in various madrassas in Pakhtunkhwa province. He also received a bachelor’s degree in Sharia [Islamic Law] from the Jamia-ye Islamiya-e Madina-ye Monawar [Islamic University of Madinah-e Monawar] and a master’s degree in Islamiyat [Islamic studies] from the Punjab University, Lahore in 1408 lunar year [1988]. In addition to this, in 1990 and 1991, he had the privilege of completing the course of hadith at Imdad ul-Ulum Madrassa in Peshawar. Mawlawi Saheb is a hafez (memoriser) of the Holy Quran. He speaks Dari and Urdu, in addition to his mother tongue [Pashto]. Mawlawi Mati ul-Haq Khales was appointed as a lecturer in Al-Hejra Wa al-Jihad (Immigration and Jihad) Madrassa in 1408 of the lunar calendar [1988] and he later also worked as a liaison officer within the framework of the Education [Department] of Hezb-e Islami Khales for foreign organisations. After the fall of the communist regime in 1412 of the lunar year [1992], Mawlawi Mati ul-Haq served as deputy head of Education Department of Nangrahar in the government of Ustad Burhanuddin Rabbani’s government and government of the Islamic Emirate. After the US occupation of the country, Mawlawi Mati ul-Haq Khales followed in the footsteps of his mujahed father and chose the path of jihad and played a good role in guiding the mujahedin and motivating [mobilising] the people. Mawlawi Saheb was appointed as a member of the negotiating team of the Islamic Emirate for negotiations with the Americans in February 2019 and is currently a member of the political office and the negotiating team.

Respected Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa

Respected Khairullah Khairkhwa, son of the late Sayed Wali, was born in Gohari village of Arghistan district of Kandahar province. After the communist coup, he migrated with his family to neighbouring Pakistan while still a child and there completed his religious education at the Saranano Camp in Quetta city, then at Jamia-ye Muhammadiya in Charat and also in Kohat. Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa is a hafez (memoriser) of the Holy Quran. He can speak Dari, Arabic, English and Urdu in addition to his mother tongue [Pashto].

He took part in the jihad against the Soviets and as the Islamic Movement of the Taleban led by the late Mullah Muhammad Omar Mujahed began, he began working to eradicate corruption and bring peace [to the country]. Prior to the conquest of Kabul, he served as the spokesman for the Taleban. During the rule of the Islamic Emirate, he served as the Minister of Interior and later as the head of the tanzimiya [fighting operations] for the southwestern region and as the governor of Herat. After the US invasion of the country, he was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 and transferred to Guantanamo Bay prison after being handed over to the Americans and was detained there for more than 13 years. Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa was released along with four other Taleban elders and transferred to Qatar on 1 June 2014 as a result of an exchange for an American prisoner.

In 2018, he was appointed as a member of the political office and the negotiating team for the negotiations with the Americans.

Respected Sheikh Mawlawi Shahabuddin Delawar

Sheikh Shahabuddin Delawar, son of the late Mawlawi Syed Akbar, was born in 1341 [1962] in the capital of Logar province. He received his religious education from his late father and in various madrassas in Logar province. He emigrated to Peshawar with his family after the communist coup. He graduated from Dar ul-Ulum-e Haqqania [in Akori Khattak] in 1362 [1983] and began teaching in various religious schools in Peshawar. During the Taleban rule, he was the Consul General in Peshawar and then served as ambassador to Islamabad as well as to Saudi Arabia. He has also served as Deputy Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for the judicial affairs and as the head of [Court of] tamiz (Cassation) of Kandahar province. After the US invasion of the country, he was appointed as a member of the Political Commission. Mawlawi Shahabuddin Delawar is currently in charge [masul edari] of liaising with the Afghan sides and a member of the negotiating team of the Islamic Emirate.

Respected Mullah Abdul Haq Waseq

Mullah Abdul Haq Waseq, son of Mullah Muhammad Salim, is from Gharib Qala village of Khogyani district of Ghazni province. He received his primary education from his honourable father and other lessons [religious education] in different madrassas of the country. He learned some books of dawra-ye kalan [equivalent to semi-higher education] in the historical mosque of Pul-e Kheshti of the country [in Kabul] from the great scholar Akhundzada Saheb.

He is a hafez (memoriser) of the Holy Quran and speaks three languages fluently, including Arabic. He began his political career under the umbrella of the Islamic Movement of Taleban and joined the late Mullah Muhammad Omar Mujahed at the beginning of the movement. Waseq Sahib held various positions during the Taleban government. He initially served as the director of the Information and Culture [Department] of Nimroz, the police chief of Kandahar province and the kafil (acting chief) and deputy director for operations of the General Directorate of Intelligence after the conquest of Kabul. And also, recently, the duty of the head of intelligence department of Kandahar province was assigned to him.

Mullah Abdul Haq Waseq was a member of the Kabul Security Commission, which was then headed by the deputy chief of ministers and also a member of the political commission within the framework of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After the US invasion of the country, Waseq Saheb was captured by the Americans in Ghazni and spent about 12 years at Guantanamo Bay. On 1 June 2014, he was also released along with four other Taleban elders and transferred to Qatar as a result of an exchange with an American prisoner. He was appointed as a member of the political office in 2018 and a member of the negotiating team for negotiations with the Americans. He is currently the administrator in charge of relations with European countries in the political office and a member of the negotiating team of the Islamic Emirate.

Respected Mawlawi Muhammad Nabi Omari

Mawlawi Muhammad Nabi Omari, son of Haji Muhammad Omar, was born in Shamshi Khel village of Ismail Khel district of Khost province in 1971. He completed his primary education inside the country. After the former Soviet occupation, he emigrated to Pakistan and completed the rest of his religious education in famous religious schools in Diyar-e Hejrat (the place of migration). After obtaining the certificate of religious education and Wefaq ul-Madares [Pakistan’s largest federation of Islamic seminaries], he taught for five years. Omari Saheb is a hafez (memoriser) of the Holy Quran and is fluent in Arabic, in addition to Dari and Pashto. Omari Saheb began his political and military struggles under the leadership of the late Mawlawi Jalaluddin Haqqani. He carried out practical jihad against the Soviets and was wounded five times in various wars. After the fall of the communist regime, during the government of [former President] Ustad Burhanuddin Rabbani, he participated in the Shura-ye Ahl-e wa Aqd [literally, the Council of Loosing and Binding, referring to those who, according to some Islamic traditions, chose, or who are qualified to chose a new Islamic ruler or caliph] as representative of his district. Omari Saheb served as the deputy police chief of Khost province in the mujahedin government in 1992 for two years and as [Taleban’s] police chief of Zabul province when the Taleban movement had not yet captured Kabul. After the conquest of Kabul, Omari Saheb was appointed general commander of the Afghan Border Force. After the US-led invasion of the country, Omari Saheb was captured by the Americans in September 2002 and held at Guantanamo Bay for about 12 years.

Finally, on 1 June 2014, he was released along with four of his comrades and transferred to Qatar as a result of an exchange between the Taleban and the Americans. In February 2018, he was appointed as a member of the Taleban’s political office and as a member of the negotiating team with the Americans in February 2019. Omari Saheb is currently the administrative in charge of liaison with the United Nations and international organisations in the political office and a member of the negotiating team.

Respected Muhammad Suhail Shahin

Muhammad Suhail Shahin, son of the late Haji Ghulam Muhammad Khan, is from Ahmad Abad district of Paktia province. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the English department of Kabul University and a diploma in journalism. During the previous jihad period [against the Soviets], he was active in the cultural field and his articles were published in various magazines. He is an able writer [nawisenda-ye tawana] and also writes in English in addition to Pashto. He speaks Dari, Arabic, English and Urdu fluently, in addition to his mother tongue, Pashto. During the jihad against the Soviets, Shahin Saheb worked as editor of “Khodam ul-Forqan” and English News (The Voice of Mujahed) affiliated with Harakat-e Enqelab-e Islami [led by] Shahed Mawlawi Nasrullah Mansur and also as the editor of the magazine (The Jihad Rays) [published by] the seven tanzims [the seven Sunni Muslim mujahedin parties then based in Pakistan]. He also served as the deputy chairman of the political committee of Mawlawi Nasrullah Mansur’s Harakat-e-Inqelab-e-Islami.

During the rule of the Islamic Emirate, Suhail Shahin was the editor of The Kabul Times. He was then appointed Deputy Chief of Mission of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to the United Nations in New York and later deputy ambassador of the Islamic Emirate to Islamabad. After the American and NATO invasion of the country, he was active in the cultural department of the Islamic Emirate and served as the editor of the English website of the al-Emarah. Muhammad Suhail Shahin Sahib is now in charge of various bodies in the political office and is a member of the political office and a member of the negotiating team of the Islamic Emirate.

Respected Mullah Muhammad Anas Haqqani

Mullah Muhammad Anas Haqqani is the youngest son of the great jihadi figure, the late Mawlawi Jalaluddin Haqqani ­– rahmatullah [may God have mercy upon him]. He was born in 1994 and is from Kando village in Gerda Serai district of Paktia province.

In addition to schooling, he studied religious studies up to the dawra-ye khord [secondary education]. He can also speak two other languages ​​besides his mother tongue Pashto.

He has done short-term courses in politics and computer science and had not yet completed his education when he was captured by the Americans while visiting Qatar to visit one of his relatives.

Anas Haqqani was imprisoned in Bagram prison for about five years. In November 2019, he was exchanged for two foreign professors along with two other friends of his and transferred to Qatar. He was appointed as a member of the negotiating team [for negotiations with the Americans] in February 2019 while still in prison. He is currently a member of the press office of the political office in Qatar and a member of the negotiating team of the Islamic Emirate.

Respected Dr Muhammad Naim

Dr Muhammad Naim, the son of Shahid [martyred] Dr Agha Jan, was born in Bahadur Khan village of the Araban valley of Chak district, Maidan Wardak province, in 1353 [1974]. In 1359 [1980], when his father was martyred by the Russians and communists, he received his primary religious education and [learned] Farsi poetry books from his late uncle, Mullah  Amir Jan. He received his primary modern education in Spin Kalai School in Kabul and then enrolled in high school in his area of Araban valley and also continued his studies in Madrassa-ye Shahdat (Shahadat religious school) and memorised the Holy Quran. In order to continue his education, he went to Pakistan in 1374/1375 [1995/96] and in 1378/1379 [1999-2000], he received a bachelor’s degree in Arabic Language and Islamic Sciences from Peshawar and won a gold medal in 2004. In 2004, he gained admission to the International [Islamic] University in Islamabad for a PhD and completed his studies in 2005. He completed his dissertation in 2010, although his defence of his dissertation is still pending.

From the beginning, Dr Muhammad Naim used his time, especially during the winter [holidays], to pursue his religious education in addition to his modern education. In 2006, he completed the dawra-ye hadith (full course of hadiths) at the Dar ul-Ulum Haqqania and put on the dastar-e fazilat (turban of excellence). It is worth mentioning that he secured first position in the course of hadith among about 900 scholars.

Dr Saheb taught at the International Islamic University in Islamabad from 2008 to 2009 and at the Arabic Language and Islamic Sciences Faculty in Peshawar from 2009 to 2011.

With the beginning of the American occupation, in addition to his education, he began intellectual, jihadi, cultural and political activities in the ranks of the Islamic Emirate and also underwent the difficulties of prison in this regard. He has been serving in the political office of the Islamic Emirate since 2010.

Dr Saheb is now a member of the negotiation team and the spokesman for the political office of the Islamic Emirate.

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Taleban Doha Talks