Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar on Monday released an audio tape to refute the rumours about his death.
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, deputy prime minister of the Taliban govt, in an audio message confirmed he was alive and said he was not injured. The message, tweeted by Taliban spox Mohammad Naeem, follows reports that Baradar was injured or killed in clashes among the Taliban. pic.twitter.com/LqwmjJkVNi— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) September 13, 2021
According to Afghan news channel TOLO News, Baradar, who is also the deputy prime minister in the newly formed Taliban government, released an audio message to confirm that he was alive and was not even injured. Taliban spokesperson Mohammad Naeem tweeted the message.
He blamed ‘fake propaganda’ for the death rumours. Abdul Ghani Baradar is number two to Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund.
There were reports and rumours that he was injured in a shootout between rival Taliban factions where he succumbed to his injuries. In his audio tape, he said that he had been away on trips last few days and without disclosing where he was, he said he was fine and as are his ‘brothers and friends’.
Taliban’s supreme leader Habitullah Akhundzada was also rumoured to be killed several years back but Taliban Spokesperson just two weeks before taking over Afghanistan revealed he was alive and in Kandahar. However, he is now rumoured to have contracted COVID-19 or has been killed in a bombing.
Who is Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is one of the four co-founders of Taliban movement back in 1994. As per Interpol, Mullah Baradar was born in Weetmak village in Dehrawood district, in the Uruzgan province of Afghanistan, in 1968. He is a Durrani Pashtun of the Popalzai tribe, the same as former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai.
After founding the Taliban, he quickly rose to the ranks of a military strategist and commander and became a key leader. When the Taliban government was toppled by the American forces during the ‘War on Terror’, Mullah Baradar was serving as Deputy Minister of Defence.
In 2010, he was arrested by the American forces in a joint US-Pakistani operation in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi. On September 21, 2018, Pakistani officials released Mullah Baradar from their custody as a condition for talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban. He is reputedly one of those very few in the ranks of the Taliban who favoured talks with the US and the Afghan government.