In what came as a major reshuffle in Taliban’s Qatar political office, Mullah Baradar, freed last year by Pakistan on the Afghan government’s request, has been appointed as the deputy of the Leader in Political Affairs and the chief of the Political Office of the Islamic Emirate. In a detailed statement announcing this change, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said that the step was taken to ‘strengthen and properly handle the ongoing negotiations process with the United States’.
The move is seen as a significant shift in Taliban’s peace talks approach as Baradar is considered, by many, as a senior leader with “credibility”.
very positive as it a) elevates the role of Doha b) brings in someone senior to lead the talks (who has credibility with the rank and file) and c) Doha office is now led by a dove (relative to other Talibs). Baradar returns not only as the senior negotiator but also as the no 2 https://t.co/gWq5qSOXSk
— Saad Mohseni (@saadmohseni) January 24, 2019
A cease fire is expected today after the peace talks end between Khalilzad & the Taliban’s in Qatar today “the announcement’s will come IF both side provide solid guarantees, which they have already committed too” : Official from Qatar.
— Iftikhar Firdous (@IftikharFirdous) January 25, 2019
Power equation in South Asia is changing subtly as India deals with internal politics. US-Taliban talks reach dramatic breakthrough. Pakistan obviously gains an upper hand as #Mulla Abdul Ghani #Baradar given key assignments. Next – power sharing! #GreatGameInAfghanistan
— Kallol Bhattacherjee (@janusmyth) January 24, 2019
Find Taliban’s full statement on the appointment below:
In accordance with the decree issued by the Leader of Islamic Emirate, the esteemed Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has been appointed as the deputy of the Leader in Political Affairs and the chief of the Political Office of the Islamic Emirate.
This step has been taken to strengthen and properly handle the ongoing negotiations process with the United States.
With the appointment of the esteemed Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the negotiation team of the Islamic Emirate will continue their talks with the United States and will not bring about any change.
In concert with the appointment of Mullah Baradar Akhund, multiple changes have also taken place in the military and civilian departments of the Islamic Emirate so that the ongoing Jihadi process and political efforts can develop positively.
Spokesman of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan – Zabihullah Mujahid