[According to this report, Akhund is supposed to be re-brainwashed into a “moderate Islamist” politician while in Qatari hands. Other press sources report that these Taliban will be settled among the civilian population, while there.]
“The Obama administration is optimistic that if Fazl could be left to able Qatari hands, he could be recycled as an Islamist politician for a democratic era.“
|Name||Mazloom, Mullah Mohammad Fazl Akhund|
|Date of birth||1968|
|Function/Grade||Ex Taliban Chief of Staff|
|History and Biodata||2. Previous Functions:
Deputy Minister of Defense
Ex Taliban Chief of Staff
Frontline Commander Takhar Province (20011000)
Fazl is said to be responsible for the killing of thousands of Afghanistan’s Shiite Muslims between 1998 and 2001. According to US military documents made public by WikiLeaks, he was also on the scene of a November 2001 prison riot that killed CIA operative Johnny Micheal Spann, the first American who died in combat in the Afghan war. There is no evidence, however, that Fazl played any direct role in Spann’s death.
He was possibly accountable for the execution of eight Iranian diplomats in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif.
Fazl is also a notorious personality from the Central Asian and Russian viewpoint insofar as he used to be the Taliban’s point person for al-Qaeda and its regional affiliates such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and Chechen rebels. He was also in charge of the strategic Kunduz region bordering the “soft underbelly” of Central Asia where he was based with IMU chief Juma Namangani at the time of the US intervention in October 2011.
Fazl belongs to the “pre-Haqqani clan” era. Will the Haqqani network – a key component of the Taliban-led insurgency from its base in Pakistan’s tribal areas – accept Fazl’s “seniority” and give way to him? Pakistan may have to prioritize its “strategic assets”; it is a veritable minefield.
The Obama administration is optimistic that if Fazl could be left to able Qatari hands, he could be recycled as an Islamist politician for a democratic era.
In February 2011, the Afghan High Peace Council named a half-dozen it wanted released as a goodwill gesture. The list included Fazl; senior Taliban military commander Noorullah Noori; former deputy intelligence minister Abdul Haq Wasiq; and Khairullah Khairkhwa, a former interior minister.
Now it seemes not clear Fazl and four other Taliban members detained under US custody will be handed over to Afghan authorities or to Qatar. It’s not clear if they will be set free or remain under further custody.(20111231)
It is rumored that Fazl might have the credentials to bring Mullah Omar on board for launching formal peace talks. He is certainly one of the finest products of Pakistan’s madrassas and he enjoyed terrific equations with the ISI. (Declassified U.S. State Department documents cite him as a key figure in the Taliban’s capture of Kabul in 1996.) His bonding with the Islamist forces in Pakistan and the ISI can be useful channels of communication to persuade Islamabad to cooperate with the U.S.-led peace talks or, at the very least, refrain from undercutting. But Fazl also evokes hostile sentiments from the Hazaras but not so much from the Tajiks (Ahmed Shah Massoud negotiated prisoner exchanges with him) or the Uzbekis (he worked with the U.S. Special Forces in November 2001 while in Rashid Dostum’s custody in Qala-i-Jangi.) Fazl’s appearance can throw the erstwhile Northern Alliance groups into disarray. But Fazl is a trump card for the U.S. on because he is an antidote to Iran’s influence in Afghanistan and can create imbalance in the delicate Iran-Pakistan equations. Tehran cannot easily forgive him for his war crimes. (20120109)