The Taliban have captured almost the whole of Afghanistan, including the capital Kabul. President Ashraf Ghani and Vice President Amirullah Saleh have left the country. After the Taliban captured the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Hibtullah Akhundzada has been declared Amir al-Mominin, the President of Afghanistan. Hibtullah in Arabic means gift of God. Contrary to his name, Hibtullah Akhundzada is such a brutal commander who killed murderers and those with illicit relations and punished the thieves with their hands. Let's know the full story of his life…
Hibtullah Akhundzada was born around 1961 in the Panjwai District of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. He belongs to the Noorzai clan. His father, Mulla Mohammad Akhund, was a religious scholar. He was the Imam of the village mosque. He had neither land nor any property. He used to run the house with the donation money and grains received in the mosque. Hibtullah Akhundzada received training from his father.
It is the early 1980s. Soviet Union troops had arrived in Afghanistan. The Afghan government was running under his protection. Many mujahideen were fighting against the army and the government. These Mujahideen used to get help from America and Pakistan. Hibtullah Akhundzada's family moved to Quetta, Pakistan, and took up arms.
By 1989 the Soviet Union withdrew its forces. The fighters fighting against it now started fighting amongst themselves. One such fighter was Mullah Mohammad Umar. He started the Taliban movement with some Pashtun youths. Hibtullah Akhundzada also joined him.
When the Taliban captured Kabul in 1996, Akhundzada was given the responsibility of the religious department of Farah province. Later he went to Kandahar and became a Maulvi of a madrasa. This madrassa was run by Taliban founder Mullah Omar, in which more than 1 lakh students studied.
In 1996, Afghanistan was ruled by the Taliban. Hibtullah Akhundzada was appointed Chief Justice of the Sharia Court in the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. As Chief Justice, Akhundzada ordered years of brutal punishment. For example, ordering the murder of murderers and those having illicit relations and cutting off the hands of those who steal. He is known for issuing fatwas. Both Mullah Omar and Mullah Mansoor used to consult Taliban chief Akhundzada in the matter of fatwas.
On 7 October 2001, the US invaded Afghanistan. All the Taliban leaders dispersed. Some were killed, some were caught and some fled to Pakistan. During this, Hibtullah Akhundzada remained in Afghanistan. It is believed that he did not travel much during this time.
A student of Hebtollah Akhundzada told the New York Times that an assassination attempt was made in 2012. At that time he was teaching in a madrasa in Quetta. Then a student stood up and pointed a pistol at him. Akhundzada was lucky that the pistol got stuck and the bullet did not fire.
The founder of the Taliban, Mullah Mohammad Omar, died of illness in 2013. After that Hakimullah Masood took over the command of the Taliban, but he was also killed in the 2013 drone attack. In 2015, the Taliban announced the election of Mullah Mansour as its new leader. Mulla Mansoor also died in a drone strike in May 2016.
On 25 May 2016, Hibtullah Akhundzada was given command of the Taliban. Mansoor is believed to have written its name in his will. Hibtullah Akhundzada was appointed by top Taliban leaders in Quetta, Pakistan. However, not all members of the Rehbari Shura, that is, the Taliban Council, were present there. A section had objections to Hibtullah Akhundzada becoming the leader, but no one could muster the courage to protest.
Taliban spokesman Yousuf Ahmadi said in a statement that on July 20, 2017, Abdurrahman, son of Hebtollah Akhundzada, was killed in a suicide attack on an Afghan military base. In August 2019, Akhundzada's brother Hafiz Ahmadullah was killed in a bomb blast. Several members of his family were killed in the bombings.