December 13, 2021 Special Dispatch No. 9679

Is Afghan Taliban Emir Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada Even Alive? – Afghan Writer Haroon Amirzada: 'The Taliban Are A Complex Terrorist Network Whose Head Is In Afghanistan But Their Tail Is Still... In Pakistan'

December 13, 2021
Special Dispatch No. 9679

In a recent article, Afghan writer Haroon Amirzada castigated international affairs commentators and journalists for endlessly discussing statements by Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, whose face has not been seen and who might be dead.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban jihadi organization of which Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada is the emir) seized power in Kabul on August 15, 2021. Media reports indicated that the current Taliban emir had appeared in a meeting in Kandahar after August 15, but no one had properly seen his face.

Haroon Amirzada, the writer of the article, notes that journalists and commentators in Afghanistan and across the world discussed for days a recent decree issued in the name of Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, though the Taliban leader's very existence remains unverified.

The article, published by, is titled "The Taliban's Leaderless Emirate." In the article, the writer described Akhundzada as the "imaginary leader" of the Taliban and questioned whether he is even alive. He noted that in a similar situation, the Afghan Taliban continued to publish statements in the name of Mullah Taliban founder and leader Mohammad Omar for years after he was dead and to this day the location of his grave remains unknown.

Following is the text of the article as translated from Dari:

"No One Has Seen This Emir [Of The Afghan Taliban] Nor Heard [From Him] So Far; Only A Picture Of Him Has Been Released"

"The Taliban call their government the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and introduce their leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada. However, no one has seen this emir nor heard [from him] so far. Only a picture of him has been released.

"His decree regarding women's rights was released recently to play a game with the international community. This comes at a time when there were speculations that their emir showed his face to the people of Kandahar from a distance.

"Besides this, some of the Taliban leaders are on the international terror list but also occupy key positions in the Emirate. For example, the leader of the Haqqani Network, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is interior minister. The United States has announced a $10 million reward on his head.

"The real question is what secret and wisdom lies in the release of a decree by Mullah Haibatullah and audio of the unknown prime minister after three months [of rule in Afghanistan] as they [i.e., the two leaders] have no physical existence."

"Everything That Is Released In The Name Of The Unknown Leader [Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada] Is Immediately Published In The World's Top Media And The Analysts Discuss Their Imaginary Leader For Days"

"The fact is that the Taliban are a complex terrorist network whose head is in Afghanistan but their tail is still in the international terrorism network's training camps in Pakistan. Whatever war booty they get in Afghanistan, either it is military equipment or historical relics, and wealth, they transport them to Pakistan.

"The Taliban are neither sincere to Islam nor keep their promises. This is a lying terror group without parallel in the history of Afghanistan. They neither believe in the freedom of Afghanistan nor have any love toward the reconstruction of Afghanistan or for making [the Afghan nation] proud.

There are doubts about whether Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada is alive

"Their first emir Mullah Omar, known as the one-eyed Mullah, was in hiding until he was declared dead. Neither has his picture been published nor does anyone know about his grave but false decrees and statement were be disseminated in his name.

"Did not these massive lies deceive the people of Afghanistan and the world?

"Yes, they have been effectively advancing this game of fooling [people]. Everything that is released in the name of the unknown leader [Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada] is immediately published in the world's top media and the analysts discuss their imaginary leader for days in the domestic and international media. This game of fooling the world is being led by the ISI [the Inter-Services Intelligence of the Pakistani military which is the backer of the Taliban mujahideen]."

Source: (Afghanistan), December 5, 2021.

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