Taliban leader Mullah Baradar on Time's list of 100 most influential people of 2021
Taliban co-founder and presently the deputy prime minister of the cabinet recently announced by the Taliban in Afghanistan, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, has been named in the list of the 100 most influential people of 2021 by Time magazine. The Taliban leader has been described as a "charismatic military leader" and a "deeply pious figure".
Time on Wednesday released its annual list of ‘The 100 Most Influential People of 2021’, a global list of leaders that includes US President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Duke and Duchess of Sussex Prince Harry and Meghan, and former US President Donald Trump.
Baradar has been listed as the most influential under the category of leaders which also includes Joe Biden and Xi Jinping.
"When the Taliban swept to victory in August in Afghanistan, it was on the terms Baradar negotiated. He was said to be making all the major decisions, including the amnesty offered to members of the former regime, the lack of bloodshed when the Taliban entered Kabul and the regime’s contacts and visits with neighbouring states, especially China and Pakistan," the magazine wrote eulogising the Taliban leader.
"Now he stands as the fulcrum for the future of Afghanistan. In the interim Taliban government, he was made a Deputy Prime Minister, the top role given to another leader more acceptable to the younger, more hard-line generation of Taliban commanders," it said.
Quiet and secretive Baradar represents a moderate face of the Taliban, the one "that will be thrust into the limelight to win Western support and desperately needed financial aid", it said.
After the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, Mullah Baradar emerged as the head of government as Taliban supremo, present prime minister Akhundzada is more of a religious figure and mostly remains in theshadows. On the other hand, Mullah Baradar has remained the diplomatic face of the Taliban. However, the Taliban announced their interim cabinet headed by the supreme leader and Mullah Baradar is one of his deputies. His sudden disappearance from the public view has triggered speculations that he might be seriously injured. Reports said he might have received aninjury in a firing incident between the Taliban and the Haqqani over power-sharing.