Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir, born in 1973, was released from the notorious camp in Cuba, run by the United States, during the presidency of George W. Bush in 2007, according to Arab news sources.
He was originally arrested by US forces after their invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
Zakir reportedly carried the number eight while in prison. He is said to have been released after he told US officials that he had no intention of returning to the battlefield.
However, upon his release, he is believed to have led military operations in Helmand before assuming the position of the Taliban’s military commander-in-chief.
Al-Jazeera news channel, on Tuesday, quoted sources from the Taliban, and stated that Zakir will now become the group’s defense minister.
Zakir is said to be a “personal friend” of Esmail Ghaani – the commander of Iran’s Quds Force – and has previously received advanced weapons systems from its Middle Eastern neighbor.
According to Arab News ArabiZakir was in charge of the force that entered the Afghan presidential palace in Kabul earlier this month after the collapse of the official government led by President Ashraf Ghani.
Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir was appointed as the Taliban’s acting defense minister after the movement’s takeover of Afghanistan, according to reports. Above: Online sources believe Zakir is the fifth man from the left in this photo of Taliban fighters after they stormed the presidential palace in Kabul last week. According to the Al-Araby Arab news website, Zakir was responsible for the force that entered the palace
Zakir (who is believed to have appeared in the photo during his detention at Guantanamo), born in 1973, was released from the infamous camp in Cuba, run by the United States, in 2007, according to Arab news sources.
It is also said that Zakir was a fierce opponent of the peace talks that took place between the Taliban and the Afghan government before seizing power.
Born in Helmand Province, Zakir immigrated from Afghanistan to Pakistan after completing his studies.
He is said to have subsequently joined one of the political parties fighting against the Soviet occupation of the country, which ended in 1989.
Then Zakir joined the newly formed Taliban movement after it emerged under the leadership of Mullah Omar.
Syrian commentator Charles Lister He said on Twitter This evening, according to Afghan journalist Bilal Sarwari, Zakari is a friend of Iran’s Qaani and has in the past received some of the country’s “most advanced weapons systems”.
US Army Military Police escorts a detainee to his cell at Guantanamo on January 11, 2001.
Lister added that the appointment was “a sign of things to come” and said Zakir had reportedly been strongly opposed to peace talks with the Afghan government.
When he was arrested in 2001, Zakir was the new deputy chief of the Taliban, known at the time as Abdullah Ghulam Rasool, according to the New York Times.
The Taliban fighters imprisoned at Guantanamo are seen by their comrades as heroes.
At a 2007 hearing, Zakir told US officials he wanted to “go home, join my family, work on my land, and help my family.”
He reportedly told the hearing: “I’ve seen pictures of Afghanistan rebuilding, and I’m glad the Americans are rebuilding my country.
‘I see no reason to be anti-American’
a 2010 ملف file In the CS Monitor, Zakir was described as possessing “enormous strength” in the Taliban.
He was known for his tactical abilities on the battlefield and had tremendous influence in southern Afghanistan during the Taliban insurgency against British, American and other Western forces.
Zakir was reportedly arrested by Pakistani authorities in 2010 before being released without explanation.
By that time, he is believed to have become Mullah Omar’s deputy after the earlier arrest of the former second-in-command, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
Zakir is said to be a ‘personal friend’ of Esmail Ghaani – the commander of Iran’s Quds Force – and has previously received advanced weapons systems from its neighbor in the Middle East.
Former Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Salam Rokti, who later became a member of the Afghan parliament, said Zakir was a “legendary leader on the battlefield”.
He added, “His fame caught the attention of Mullah Omar, and the two became close over time.”
Another former CC Monitor commander said that Zakir was ‘well-versed in Sharia’ [Islamic] Law.
He was also wounded several times, including in the late 1990s by a bomb explosion that killed four of his close friends.
News of Zakir’s promotion comes after Joe Biden today ignored pleas by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other allies to extend the deadline to evacuate Kabul beyond August 31.
The Taliban has warned that it will not tolerate a delay in the departure of Western forces.
Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel used the G7 meeting to urge the US president to continue the process for a while longer, but pleas appear to have fallen on deaf ears.
Instead, White House sources said, Biden agreed with the Pentagon that there would be no change to the mission’s timeline.
An offended Johnson said after the G7 summit that the UK would continue to conduct airlifts from the country “until the last minute” as he pleaded with the Taliban to allow people to leave after the deadline.
He said the leaders agreed that the “first condition” that the Taliban must meet moving forward is “to ensure the correct path until August 31 and beyond safe passage for those who want to exit”.
The prime minister insisted that the G7 countries had “significant influence” over the Taliban due to the threat of sanctions, saying that funding for the country would only be available in the future if it met the expectations of the West.
If this huge money is eventually to be unfrozen for use by the government and people of Afghanistan, what we are saying is that Afghanistan cannot decline to become a breeding ground for terrorism, and Afghanistan cannot become a drug state, he said.
Boris Johnson today appealed to the Taliban to allow people to leave Afghanistan after the US completed its withdrawal on August 31
The comments came after the Taliban repeated dire warnings of consequences if they were to try to hang on, saying no one would be allowed to leave.
“All people should be removed before that date,” a spokesman said at a news conference in the capital. After that don’t let them. We will take a different position.
According to Reuters, the Pentagon told Mr. Biden that the risks to US forces were very high if they defied the Taliban.
This means that the forces will have to abandon the humanitarian operation and start focusing on their exit plan as soon as tomorrow.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has warned of the danger of a ‘shooting war’ at the airport as the deadline approaches, after the Royal Air Force evacuated 2,000 more people in the past 24 hours.
The White House tried to put a brave face on Joe Biden’s position, saying the G7 spoke of “continuing our close coordination”
Berlin and Paris are also ramping up evacuations, but there are still thousands of desperate people waiting to be taken to safety.
Efforts continued on both sides of the Atlantic to get Biden to change his approach, after he faced an angry backlash over his handling of the crisis.
The chairman of the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee said the current schedule for evacuating US citizens and their allies is almost certain to fail.
Tory MP Tom Tugendhat – who served as an army officer in Afghanistan – said all the UK could do was “ask the Americans if they are willing to stand with us”.
He added: ‘If they aren’t, we can’t secure the perimeter and we can’t manage air traffic control, so if the Americans decide to leave now I’m afraid that will be the case. But we can ask.
Mr Tugendhat said he understood Mr Biden had to make a “very difficult decision”, but said many families were struggling to get through the gate and “a day, maybe two days longer, will only help a few more days”.