While Haibatullah Akhundzada is the Taliban’s overall leader, Baradar is its political chief and its most public face.
In a televised statement on the fall of Kabul on Sunday, he said the Taliban’s real test was only just beginning and that they had to serve the nation.
Born in Uruzgan province in 1968, he fought in the Afghan Mujahideen against the Soviets in the 1980s. After the Russians were driven out in 1992 and the country fell into civil war between rival warlords, Baradar set up a madrassa in Kandahar with his former commander and reputed brother-in-law, Mohammad Omar.
Together, the two founded the Taliban, a movement spearheaded by young Islamic scholars dedicated to the religious purification of the country and the creation of an emirate.
Fuelled by religious fervour, widespread hatred of the warlords the Taliban swept to power in 1996 after a series of stunning conquests of provincial capitals that took the world by surprise, just as the movement has done in recent weeks.
Baradar signed the Doha agreement with the US in February 2020, in what the Trump administration hailed as a breakthrough towards peace but which now appears a mere staging post towards total Taliban victory.
The US and Taliban agreement not to fight each other was supposed to be followed by power-sharing talks between the Taliban and the Kabul Government of Ashraf Ghani.
Those talks stumbled along with little progress, and it is clear now that Baradar and the Taliban were playing for time, waiting for the Americans to leave and preparing a final offensive, the report said.- IANS