Afghan Taliban release profile of chief Haibtullah

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KABUL: The Afghan Taliban on Wednesday released a profile of Maulvi Haibtullah Akhunzada months after he was named the group’s chief.

The profile detailed Haibtullah’s role during Afghanistan’s invasion in 2001 and after the deaths of Mullah Omar and Mullah Mansour. The new chief is a strong advocate of Islamic unity, disavowing differences of ideology between Shias and Sunnis, the profile added.

Haibtullah was named chief by members of the group’s leading council following Mullah Akhtar Mansoor’s death in a US drone strike on May 21. Sirajuddin Haqqani alias Khalifa and Maulvi Yaqoob Mujahid, late Mullah Omar’s son, were appointed his deputies on the occasion.

“It was the courage and strong determination of brave leaders like Sheikh Haibtullah Akhunzada and his faithful colleagues that encouraged and inspired mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate and the Muslim masses of our country,” the profile read.

“This resulted in a humiliating and embarrassing defeat for superpower America as well as NATO, the greatest military alliance of crusade forces in the world,” it added.

“All key figures and field commanders unanimously supported the new ameer [chief] while pledges of allegiance and oath of fighting against the invaders and their foreign allied and internal mercenary forces were received from all 34 provinces,” the profile read.

The document, released in Pashto, English, Urdu, Dari and Arabic, dwells on Haibtullah’s commitment to justice with compassion during the years the international community accused the group of inflicting regressive and unforgiving punishments.

Meanwhile, when asked as to why the Taliban released the profile nearly seven month of his nomination, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid told The Express Tribune that it had been done to counter any move to disseminate erroneous information about the leader.“We prepared an informative piece to share correct information and stop the spread of false information,” Mujahid said.

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