The Taliban spiritual leader Sheikh Haibatullah will finally retire to select Mullah Yaqub as his successor

Based on the intelligence report, On August 18, a vast conference of Taliban was convened in Kandahar province, meanwhile from August 20 to August 22, representatives of the Pakistan Army, ISI and CIA met at the Mandigak Palace with Taliban leading council members, to select the successor of Sheikh Haibatullah.

As per report, on August 18, a summit was held in support of the Taliban in Kandahar province, and high-ranking officials of the Taliban from Kabul attended the meeting. After the meeting, the high-ranking delegation of the Taliban and tribal leaders met with Sheikh Haibatullah, at the Mandigak Palace, to indicate their support for Sheikh Haibatullah, to disqualify the secret plan of the Taliban Qatar office, the Haqqani network, and other Taliban leaders who corroborate Mullah Yaqub to take the lead. In reaction to the said meeting, on Saturday, August 20, after the late afternoon’s prayer, the leaders of the Taliban, representatives of the Pakistan Army and members of the CIA met with Sheikh Haibatullah at Mandigak Palace in Kandahar province, while suggesting him to appoint his successor.

 The Qatar office of Taliban and the Pakistani military establishment, opt to decide on Maulivi Yaqub as the successor of Sheikh Haibatullah, meantime it is settled to replace Mullah Muhammad Hassan the so-called prime minster with Khalifa Sirajuddin Haqqani the current home minister. After the end of the meeting on Saturday, on following day August 21, representatives of Sheikh Haibatullah’s special 24-person council, Sheikh Haibatullah’s four-member advisory team, and members of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar’s group met with Sheikh Haibatullah. They advised Sheikh Haibatullah and asked him to appoint Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar as his successor during such a sensitive circumstances. On Monday, August 22, the last meeting was held at Mandigak Palace, and the Kabul delegation once again, in cooperation with the Qatar office and the Pakistan military administration, insisted on Sheikh Haibatullah that he should transfer power to Maulvi Yaqoob without any discrepancy.

The removal of Sheikh Haibatullah from power and the appointment of Maulvi Yaqoob in his place is necessary for the Qatar office, especially the American CIA, because Sheikh Haibatullah has failed in his commitments with the American and Qatar offices. The office of Qatar and the United States do not want the Taliban to be out of control and divided into two factions, one intended to support the China and Russia, while the other support the US and its allies.

The United States sought to use the entire Taliban group as non-state  paramilitaries to be completely under the control of the United States. Hence, Sheikh Haibatullah has failed to create a political vacuum in the north of Afghanistan, a political vacuum that is currently the most necessary objective to contain China. The United States advised Sheikh Haibatullah not to appoint a council of religious scholars and advisers to make the decisions. Since, Sheikh Haibatullah was appointed only as a religious/spiritual leader of the Taliban not as a political leader. However, he takes advice from his advisors and religious scholars at the time of making decisions. Now the office of Qatar and the American intelligence agency want to bring Maulvi Yaqoob to power in Afghanistan instead of Sheikh Haibatullah, and Maulvi Yaqoob’s visit to Qatar was also part of this purpose.

In the end of July, former President Hamid Karzai’s telephone conversation with Thomas West, the US special representative for Afghanistan, and the meetings of Hamid Karzai with Maulvi Yaqoob and Khalifa Serajuldin Haqqani were also for the same purpose. Former President Hamid Karzai was assigned by the American CIA with the cooperation of Thomas West to fully cooperate with Maulvi Yaqoob and Khalifa Sirajuddin Haqqani in gaining the power in Afghanistan. And Hamid Karzai gave Maulvi Yacoub a plan to not only increase the number of supporters among the Taliban, but also to gain the support of the former government’s employees and the Afghan people. Thus, Maulvi Yaqoob was the first high-ranking leader among the Taliban who celebrated Afghanistan’s Independence Day on August 19 and during the meeting, he openly said that we would not allow anyone to give up the national values. Currently, strong efforts are being made by the American CIA, Pakistan Army and ISI to appoint Maulvi Yaqoob as Sheikh Haibatullah’s successor as soon as possible, but Mawlavi Abdul Ghani Baradar and his group are still supporting Sheikh Haibatullah, while recommending him to appoint Mawlavi Baradar as a spiritual leader in case of his retirement. 

Ajmal Sohail
Ajmal Sohail
Ajmal Sohail is a graduate in terrorism and extremism studies from both Leiden University in the Netherlands and Maryland University in the United States; he works in the meantime as an intelligence analyst and Counter-terrorism expert. He does remain well connected with the political players in his country, both those physically in Afghanistan and those working from outside, allowing him to gain insights into the extremely complex geopolitical situation in Afghanistan and in the South Asia region. He is the co-founder and co-president of the Counter Narco-Terrorism Alliance Germany, directing its intelligence and counter-terrorism portfolios. His analysis is regularly featured in various international news outlets, print and television and he even runs his own sources to get the most classified Intel. His analysis and other content can be accessed at his personal website: