Biographies of the government negotiating team members
Biographies of the Taliban negotiating team members
KABUL (Pajhwok): Four out of the 21-member government team for peace negotiations with the Taliban are energetic, educated and young people.
One has a PhD to his credit, six have obtained master’s degrees and nine have bachelor-level qualifications. Three are school graduates and one has completed religious studies.
The government team has one negotiator each from Logar, Laghman, Takhar, Badakhshan, Parwan, Ghazni, Paktika, Panjsher, Herat, Kapisa, Jawzjan, Kandahar, Bamyan, Nangarhar, Uruzgan, Paktia and Helmand provinces. From Balkh and Kabul provinces, the team has two members each.
Four members of the negotiating team are aged between 25 and 33 years, three between 45 and 49 and the remaining 14 between 51 and 66.
1-Mohammad Masoum Stanikzai:
Mohammad Masoum Stanikzai the is son of Mahmood Khan Stanikzai, Masoum Stanikzai was born in 1959 in the Mohammad Agha district of Logar province. He completed his primary and intermediate studies in Logar and then moved to the Telecommunication School and did graduation from there. He continued his studies in the relevant field and received his bachelor degree from Kabul’s Harbi University. Stanikzai got one of his master degrees in administrative affairs from Pakistan’s Preston University and another in the area of durable development from the United Kingdom’s Cambridge University. Over the past two decades, Stanikzai has served as head of the National Directorate of Security, acting defence minister, presidential advisor, telecommunications minister and secretary to the Peace Council. He is President Ashraf Ghani’s trusted lieutenant and at the same time enjoys a cordial relationship with Dr. Abdullah and former president Hamid Karzai. He is the head of the government’s negotiating team.
Fatema Gilani is the daughter of Pir Syed Ahmad Gilani, former head of the Mahaz-i-Milli party, She was born in 1955 in Kabul. Originally, she hails from the Surkh Rod district of Nangarhar province. She graduated from Kabul’s Malalai School and received her bachelor in Persian literature from Iran’s National University. Gilani got her master degree in Islamic Studies and Jurisprudence from United Kingdom’s Muslim College. She served as advisor at Muslim College, spokesperson for the Milli Mahaz party during the jihad period and head of the Afghanistan Red Crescent Society over the past two decades.Gilani also participated in the Bonn Conference and served as a member of the Loya Jirga Commission. Currently, she is a member of the government team for negotiations with the Taliban. Suffering from cancer, she may not participate in talks with the Taliban. Dr. Anwarul Haq Ahadi, a member of Dr. Abdullah’s election team, is her husband. She, however, holds her own political views.
3-Ahmad Nader Naderi:
Ahmad Nader Nadri was born in 1959 in the capital of Laghman province. He earned his bachelor degree in law and political affairs from the Kabul University and got his master degree from the Gorge Washington University in international relations. A UN peace activist over the past two decades, he participated in the 2002 Bonn Conference and served as a member of Afghanistan’s Independent and Transparent Election and spokesperson for Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission.He is head of the Independent Civil Services and Reform Commission (IACSRC) and a member of the government negotiating team.
4-Abdul Matin Baig:
Abdul Matin Baig is the son of Abdul Mutalib Baig, Abdul Matin Baig was born in 1987 in the Hazar Samoch district of Takhar province. He completed his primary and intermediate studies in Takhar before graduating from the Amani High School in Kabul. Baig got his bachelor degree in political affairs from the New Delhi University and masters in the same field from India’s Jawahar Lal Nehru University. Baig served as policy advisor at the Ministry of Interior in 2011, member of Afghanistan’s delegation for the Afghanistan-US strategic dialogue, administrative and financial affairs head at the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) and deputy head of NDS on provincial affairs. His father was a Jamiat-i-Islami commander and served as a member of President Ashraf Ghani’s electoral team. Baig is currently Ghani’s advisor and member of the government negotiating team.
Fawzia Koofi is the daughter of Abdul Rahman, she was born in 1966 in the Kof Ab district of Badakhshan province. She obtained her bachelor degree in law from the Kabul University and a master’s degree from Pakistan’s Preston University in business administration. She served as a representative of Badakhshan people in the Wolesi Jirga and second deputy speaker of the lower house. Koofi also served as assistant to the UNECIF office in Badakhshan, head of the Norwegian orphanage centre in Afghanistan and chief of the Jaihon Cultural and Training Centre. She was member of Dr. Abdullah’s election team in 2019. She is a member of the government negotiating team.
6- Zarar Ahmad Muqbil:
Zarar Ahmad Muqbil is the son of Mir Mohammad Usman, Muqbel was born 1964 in the Khawaja Sayaran area of Parwan’s capital. He completed his primary and intermediate studies in Parwan before graduating from Habibia High School in Kabul. Muqbel completed his three and half year bachelor studies from Kabul’s Polytechnic University. Imprisoned in 1987, he has served as deputy head of Ahmad Shah Masoud’s office, police chief of Parwan, first secretary at the Afghan embassy in Tehran, security assistant to the Interior Ministry, counter-narcotics minister and interior minister. He is now a member of the government negotiating team.
7-Maulvi Attaullah Lodin:
Maulvi Attaullah Lodin is the son of Maulvi Shamsur Rahman Kamavi, Lodin was born in the Kama district of Nangarhar province in 1961. He has a bachelor degree in Shariah and has served as a Wolesi Jirga member, head of the Kabul Appellant Court, assistant to the Ulema Shura and governor of Nangarhar. He is a former member of Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan, currently working for Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal. A member of Meshrano Jirga, he has been picked as a member of the government negotiating team.
8-Mohammad Rasoul Talib:
Mohammad Rasoul Talib is the son of Haji Lal Mohammad and born in 1963 in the Qarabagh district of southern Ghazni province. Graduating from the Sultan Mahmood High School in Ghazni, he completed his higher education from the Kabul Medical University. He was imprisoned during the Khalq Democratic government. Following his release, he formed the Nasar Organisation in Peshawar. Rasoul is the member of Wahdat-i-Islami party’s central committee. He has served as liaison officer of the party in Peshawar and as presidential advisor on social affairs. He participated in talks between Wahdat Islami and Hezb-i-Islami. He is member of government’s negotiating delegation.
Habiba Surabi is the Daughter of Abdul Hameed, Surabi was born in 1957 in Mazar-e-Sharif, the capital of Balkh province. She graduated from Kabul’s Ayesha Durrani High School and got her bachelor degree in pharmacy from Kabul University. She has served as women affairs minister and the governor of Bamyan province. Now she has been included in the government’s negotiating team.
Ghairat Baheer is the son of Haji Adam Khan, Ghairat Baheer was born in 1956 in the Urgon district of Paktika province. He earned a bachelor degree in diplomacy. He was Afghanistan’s ambassador to Pakistan under the Mujahidin government and served as Mujahidin’s representative in Saudi Arabia and Australia. He was also part of the Hezb-i-Islami team for talks with the government. He is currently head of HIA’s political wing and has been named as a member of the government’s negotiating delegation.
11-Abdul Hafeez Mansour:
Abdul Hafeez Mansour is the son of Mohammad Hussain, Hafeez Mansour was born in the Rakha district of Panjsher province. He has a bachelor in journalism from Kabul University. He has served as head of Bakhtar News Agency, acting minister of cultural and information and member of the Wolesi Jirga. He is a member of the Jamiat party. He has been appointed as a member of the government’s negotiating team.
12-Ghulam Farooq Majroh:
Ghulam Farooq Majroh is the son of Ghulam Sediq, Ghulam Farooq Majroh was born in 1969 in the Injeel district of Herat province. He completed his school education from Darul Elam High School and served as deputy security head at Herat Corps, deputy head of NDS and Gulran district chief. Ghulam Farooq has a cordial relationship with jihadi leader Ismael Khan and Dr. Abdullah. He is currently serving as a member of the Wolesi Jirga and has been named as member of the government’s negotiating team.
13-Maulvi Enayatullah Baligh:
Maulvi Enayatullah Baligh is the son of Zia-ul-Haq, he was born in 1955 in Kapisa province. He graduated from a high school in Kabul before receiving a bachelor degree in Islamic Studies from the Kabul University. Baligh has served as minister of religious affairs, deputy head of the Kapisa University and a lecturer at the Kabul University. He is currently the Imam (prayer leader) at the Pul-i-Kheshti Mosque and enjoys cordial relations with Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf. He is one of the members of the government’s negotiating team.
Batur Dostum is the son of Abdul Rashid Dostum, he was born in 1988 in the capital of Jawzjan province. Batur received his bachelor and master degrees in law and political science from the Ghazi University of Turkey. He served as acting chief of the Jumbish-i-Milli party. He is a member of the Wolesi Jirga and the director of a private TV channel. He is also part of the government negotiating team.
Kalimullah Naqibi is the son of Mullah Naqib, he was born in 1981 in the Arghandab district of Kandahar province. He completed his primary and secondary school education in Pakistan and graduated from the Sufi Sahib High School in Kandahar. Naqibi has membership of the Jamiat-i-Islami party and enjoys good relations with Atta Mohammad Noor and President Ghani. He has been chosen as a member of the government negotiating team.
Mohammad Nateqi was born in 1954 in Bamyan province. Exact information regarding his qualifications is not known. But sources say Nateqi completed religious studies and studied at the Islamic Studies Institute in Iraq. Nateqi, a member of the Wahdat-i-Islami Mardom Afghanistan party, led by Mohaqiq, was Afghanistan’s ambassador to Libya from 2003 to 2007. Later on, he served as an advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He supported Dr. Abdullah Abdullah in the 2019 presidential election. He has been chosen as a member of government negotiating team.
17- Gen. Ayub Ansari:
Gen. Ayub Ansari is the Son of Mohammad Hashim, he was born in the Nawzad district of Helmand province. He is 49-year-old. Ansari’s father was a member of parliament under King Zahir Shah. He received his bachelor in education and training and completed his master in the military field. He served the Transport Ministry during the Taliban regime. Later on, he served as deputy police chief for Helmand, crime branch chief and police chief of Logar and Herat provinces.
18-Syed Sadaat Mansour Naderi:
Syed Sadaat Mansour Naderi is the son of Mansour Naderi, he was born in 1976 in Kabul but he originally hails from Baghlam. He completed his primary school in Kabul and Baghlan and graduated from a college in England. He received his higher education in business and economic from the London University. He served as head of the Agha Khan Foundation’s economic committee, member of Da Afghanistan Bank Board of managers, acting minister of Work and Social Affairs, urban development ministries.
Naderi supported Dr. Abdullah Abdullah in 2019 presidential elections. Naderi is the owner some business, including fuel/vehicles, founded insurance Corp of Afghanistan (ICA), founded Finest, mines firms.
Naderi is currently serving as state minister for peace affairs. He has been appointed as a member of the government negotiating team.
19-Sharifa Zurmati Wardak:
Sharifa Zurmati Wardak was born in 1968 in the Zurmat district of Paktia province. Zurmati completed her higher education in Pashto literature. She has been a member of the Wolesi Jirga and has served as a teacher, journalist and producer at the National Radio Television, spokesperson for the Ministry of Women Affairs and advisor to the same ministry.
Zurmati was also a member of the Independent Election Commission in 2014 and advisor to the president on human rights. She is a member of the government negotiating team.
Khalid Noor, son of Atta Mohammad Noor, was born in 1995 in Balkh province. After completing his secondary school education in Afghanistan, Khalid moved to the United Kingdom, where he studied at the Royal Military Academy. He holds a bachelor degree in conflict analysis and resolution from the George Mason University in the US. He has participated in informal peace talks between the Taliban and Afghan politicians in Moscow and Doha. Khalil is a member of the government’s negotiating team.
21-Dr. Mohammad Ameen Ahmadi:
Dr. Mohammad Ameen Ahmadi is the Son of Bostan, he was born in 1964 in the Khas Uruzgan district of Uruzgan province. He holds a PhD in Philosophy and Islamic Wisdom from the University of Tehran and has served as a lecturer at various universities and the Kateb University. Ahmadi has served as a member of the constitution review commission. Now he is a member of the government’s negotiating team.
KABUL (Pajhwok): Nearly all members of the Taliban peace negotiating team are aged above 40 years and most of them have studied at private seminaries and belong to 14 provinces of the country, mostly to Paktia and Kandahar provinces.
Five of them had spent years in Guantanamo Bay detention camp and one in Bagram prison.
Pajhwok Afghan News prepared short biographies of the 23-member Taliban negotiating team.
According to the group’s sources, two or three of them may not be able to attend the peace talks in Qatar due to problems in their travel documents. Therefore, two or three people may be changed and the number reduce to 21.
1-Maulvi Sheikh Abdul Hakeem Haqqani:
Maulvi Sheikh Abdul Hakeem Haqqani is son of Mullah Khudaidad Akhund, Haqqani was born in Tlokan village of Panjwai district of Kandahar province. Originally from Band-i-Temor area of Maiwand district, he is 53-year-old and belongs to Ishaqzai tribe. He has graduated from Haqqani seminary and moved to Sangin district of Helmand province from Kandahar where he was imam (prayer leader) in a mosque before joining the Taliban group. Hakeem Haqqni served in court during the Taliban regime. He also had his own seminary in Ishaqabad of Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s Balochistan province. Last year, an explosion took place in his seminary where his two sons named Maulvi Abdul Ali and Abdul Halim and his nephew were killed. He is currently serving as chief of Taliban supreme court and currently he is chosen as chief of the negotiating team.
2-Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai:
Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai is son of Pacha Khan, Stanikzai was born in 1963 in Abbas Qala area of Baraki Barak district of central Logar province. He received his higher education in military in India and he is a former military officer. After the resignation of Taib Agha as political office head in Qatar, Stanikzai was acting in charge of the political affairs and besides a member of political office he was chairing the office in absence of Mullah Baradar. Stanikzai has also the decision-making authority. Recently, he has been appointed as deputy head of the negotiating team. Stanikzai can speak fluently English, Urdu, Pashto and Dari languages. He was member of Maulvi Mohammad Nabi’s party during the Jihad and his family is living in Dubai. Stanikzai has served as deputy minister for foreign and public health ministries during the Taliban regime.
3-Maulvi Shahabuddin Dilawar:
Maulvi Shahabuddin Dilawar is son of Syed Akbar who served as a Wolesi Jirga member in Zahir Shah’s monarchy. Dilawar served at different posts during the Taliban regime. Dilawar is currently member of the Taliban political office and member of the peace negotiating team. He was Afghanistan consul general in Peshawar, then ambassador to Islamabad and Saudi Arabia during the Taliban era. He also served as head of the Court of Cassation. Dilawar can speak Arabic, English, Dari and Pashto fluently and had completed his higher education and currently living with his family in Qatar.
4-Maulvi Abdul Kabeer:
Maulvi Abdul Kabeer is 57-year-old. He hails from Paktia province but has spent years in Baghlan province.
Kabeer has served as governor of Nangarhar, director of order in eastern zone, deputy director of ministerial council on economic affairs in Kabul. He remained the head of the Taliban Council in Peshawar after the fall of the Taliban regime and was involved in anti-government activities in the eastern provinces of Afghanistan.
Maulvi Kabir is also a member of the Taliban’s leadership council and currently a member of the Taliban delegation for peace talks with government. He served as the head of the Taliban’s Dawa commission. According to Pakistani media reports, he was arrested by Pakistan police in Nowshera area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2009 and released after spending several months in jail.
5-Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa:
Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa, the son of Syed Wali Khairkhwa is 53-year-old and hails from Kandahar province. He is member of Taliban political office, as well as, member of the Taliban negotiating team.
During the Taliban regime, he served as military commander, minister of interior and governor of Herat until 2001. Khairkhwa was detained by Pakistani forces close to Durand Line in year 2002 and was handed over US forces and was held for around 12 years in Guantanamo Bay prison.
Khairkhwa is currently living with his family in Qatar.
6-Mullah Mohammad Faazel Mazlum:
Mullah Mohammad Faazel Mazlum, who is 53-year-old, belongs to Uruzgan province and had studied in Pakistani seminaries. Mazlum worked as deputy defence minister, chief of army staff and military commander during the Taliban regime. Faazel surrendered to Gen. Dostum’s militias in 2001 and was handed over to Americans. He spent around 13 years in Guantanamo Bay jail. Faazel, who is member of political office is also member of the negotiating team and currently lives in Qatar with his family.
7-Qari Din Mohammad Hanif:
Hanif was born in Yaftal district of Badakhshan province. He received Islamic education in Peshawar. He served as minister of higher education and planning during the Taliban rule. He had also held talks with the Northern Alliance in Turkmenistan. He speaks fluent Arabic and Dari and he is the first Taliban member to appear before the media and speak on behalf of the Taliban during an academic seminar at a Japanese University. He currently lives in Qatar with his family.
8-Mullah Amir Khan Mutaqi:
Mullah Amir Khan Motaqi is originally from Zurmat district of Paktia. He moved to Zabul province, then to Kandahar and then Helmand. He served as minister of culture and information and education during the Taliban regime. He had worked as the director of the office of Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhund before being appointed as member of the negotiating team.
9-Mullah Noorullah Noori:
Mullah Noorullah Noori, 53, hails from Zabul province. Noori served as governor of Balkh and Laghman during the Taliban rule and as military commander in the northern zone. He surrendered to Gen. Dostum’s militia in 2001 after the fall of the Taliban regime and Dostum handed him over the Americans, who transferred him to Guantanamo Bay in 2002 where he spent about 13 years. Noori is one of the members of the negotiating team and lives in Qatar with his family.
10-Mullah Abdul Latif Mansoor:
Mullah Abdul Latif Mansoor, son of Yar Mohammad, is hailing from Haibatkhel village of Zurmat district of Paktia province. Mansoor is 55-year-old. Besides his membership in Qatar political office, he is also member of the negotiating team. Mansoor was previously associated with Harakat-i-Inqilab Islami party, led by, Maulvi Nasrullah Mansoor. He served as agriculture minister and spent most of his life in Pakistan and completed his Islamic studies from Haqqania seminary. He is the nephew of former Jihadi commander Maulvi Nasrullah Mansoor. Mansoor is currently living in Qatar with family.
11-Maulvi Abdul Salam Hanafi:
Maulvi Abdul Salam Hanafi, the son of Ali Murad, was born in 1969 in Gardan village of Darzab district of Jawzjan province. He is Uzbek. He completed his primary studies in Jawzjan and the remaining in Karachi of Pakistan. He served as director of education in Farah, then acting minister of education during the Taliban regime and after the fall of the Taliban, he was appointed as Taliban military in charge in Jawzjan and them a member of the Taliban’s leadership. Hanafi has been appointed as member of the Taliban negotiating team and he also lives in Qatar with his family.
12- Mullah Abdul Haq Waseeq:
Mullah Abdul Haq Waseeq is resident of Khogyano district in Ghazni province. He is nearly 49 years old and had completed his religious studies from Zia-ul-Madares in Pakistan’s Quetta City. He was assistant officer of intelligence during the Taliban era. Waseeq was arrested in the Muqar district of Ghazni province in 2001 and was sent to Guantanamo Bay Jail. He was released in a prisoners swap deal after spending 12-years in the US military prison. He was present in the US, Taliban negotiations that lasted for 11 months till signing the peace agreement and currently is a member of the Taliban negotiating team. He lives in Qatar with family.
13- Maulvi Matiulhaq Khales:
MaulviMatiulhaqKhales is resident of Nangarhar province and the son of former Jihadi Commander Maulvi Khales. He completed his bachelor education in Madina Monawwara. He left the country after the Taliban regime and created an armed group called Torabora Mahaz for some time. Khales is currently a member of the Taliban negotiating team.
14- Mohammad Nabi Umari:
Mohammad NabiUmari is 54 years old and hails from Khost province. He served with the Taliban in military and worked as intelligence head of Zabul province. He was arrested in 2002 in Khost province and was transferred to Guantanamo Bay from Bagram Jail and remained there for 12 years.
He performed several duties during the Taliban regime. Umari was the member of Hizb-e-Islami and Haqqani Network. He is member of the Taliban’s political office and negotiating team in Qatar and currently lives in Qatar with his family.
15- Mullah Abdul Manan Umari:
Mullah Abdul MananUmari is the resident of Uruzgan province and belongs to Hotak tribe. He is brother of Taliban Leader Mullah Omar’s wife. He is member of the Taliban leadership council and currently a member of the Taliban negotiating team. Umari led the Taliban’s cultural wing and lived in Pakistan where he ran some seminaries.
16- Dr. Mohammad Naeem:
A resident of Maidan Wardak’sChak district, Naeem studied at Shahadat Madrasa in Chak district. He completed his higher religious studies in Haqqani Madrassa in Pakistan and completed his doctorate degree from Islamabad’s Islamic University in Arabic Literature. Besides Pashto and Dari, Naeem speaks in English as well. He was member of the Taliban negotiating team during talks with the US and currently replaced Suhail Shaheen as the Taliban Qatar office spokesperson.
17- Suhail Shaheen:
Suhail Shaheen is resident of Paktia’s Totakhel locality and completed his higher education from Islamabad’s Islamic University. He can speak English and is author of several books. He was in charge of Kabul Times newspaper during the Taliban regime, and served as second secretary in Afghanistan’s embassy in Islamabad and as spokesperson of the foreign ministry during the Taliban regime. He served as spokesperson of the Taliban Qatar office until recently and currently lives with his family in Qatar.
18- Anas Haqqani:
Anas Haqqani is about 40 years old and is the resident of Paktia province. He is the son of renowned Jihadi leader Jalaluddin Haqqani who founded the dreaded Haqqani Network. His brother Sirajuddin Haqqani leads the network. Anas was arrested in 2014 and was transferred to Qatar after 6 years in Bagram jail.
He is member of the Taliban Qatar Office and member of the Taliban negotiating team. He lives in Qatar but his other family members live in Pakistan.
19-Mullah Mohammad Shirin Akhund:
Mullah Shirin Akhund is resident of Kandahar province and was in charge of Mullah Omar’s security during the Taliban regime. He served as the Taliban Peshawar Shura assistant, head of military intelligence and the governor of Kandahar province.
20- Sheik Mohammad Qasem:
Shaikh Qasem is the resident of Kunduz province and is Turkmen by ethnicity. He is 55 years old and completed his religious studies in Pakistan. He currently lives in Pakistan and has a religious madrasa in Pakistan. Sheikh Qasem is the member of Taliban negotiating team.
21- Maulvi Abdul Ghani:
Maulvi Abdul Ghani is resident of Badakhshan province and is a member of the Taliban negotiating team.
22- Maulvi Abdul Karim:
Maulvi Abdul Karim is a resident of Herat province and is 50 years old. He belongs to Ishaqzai tribe and has completed his religious studies in Pakistan.
He is a close aide of Mullah Beradar. He did not perform a specific duty during the Taliban regime. He lives in Pakistan and is a member of the Taliban negotiation team.
23- Maulvi Fariduddin
Maulvi Fariduddin is resident of Paktika province. He is Sulaimankhel and a former Jihadi commander. Fariduddin completed religious studies in Noorul Madares. He is a close aide of Shaheed Maulvi Nasrullah Mansour and led his own militant group. He is a member of the Taliban negotiation team now.