When the Taliban reformed as an insurgency, Mr. Baradar was Mullah Omar’s principal deputy, and he led the movement’s military operations. He oversaw a sharp escalation of the insurgency in 2006 but was also engaged in secret consultations with the emissaries of President Hamid Karzai and international assistance organizations.

He was detained in a joint U.S.-Pakistani raid in 2010, which Pakistani officials later said had been to end his dialogue with the Karzai government. Because of his respect within the Taliban and his previous openness to dialogue, however, the United States pressed Pakistan to release him so he could help lead the talks that began in 2019 and reached a troop withdrawal deal with the Trump administration.

During the talks, he struck up what several officials described as a warm relationship with the U.S. envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad. And in recent days, his movements within Afghanistan — first to Kandahar, the wellspring of the Taliban movement, and then to Kabul, where he began conducting leadership meetings — were seen as confirmation that the Taliban’s new government was near.


Mr. Haqqani, who is thought to be 48 and is the son of the mujahedeen commander and Haqqani network founder Jalaluddin Haqqani, is emerging as one of the biggest winners in the return of the Taliban to power. He will be the acting interior minister, in charge of law and order and possibly even local governance, and has also ensured his commanders’ positions in other key departments of the government.

In 2016, he became

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