|History and Biodata
1. Former Taliban Chairman of Peace Negotiation Team:
Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai (20200905)
Sheikh Mawlawi Abdul Hakim Ishaqzai (20200906)
2. Previous Function:
Taliban Shadow Chief Justice
Chairman of the negotiating team (20200906)
Sheikh Mawlawi Abdul Hakim Ishaqzai was born 1967 in Panjwai District, Kandahar Province. He is the son of Mullah Khodaidad Akhund. He is a member of the 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. Abdul Hakim Ishaqzai was a judge in Kandahar’s court during the Taliban regime and taught in schools including those for the disabled in Kandahar and the Haqqani Madrassa in Pakistan.
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.
He was appointed as the Taliban's chief justice five years ago, and is known for holding aggressive views. He has issued many significant fatwas (a ruling on a point of Islamic law given by a recognized authority) on the war over the last five years.
He is described as close to Taleban chief Haibatullah.
He will serve as the Chief of the Taliban negotian team in Doha and Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai will be his deputy. The role of the spokesman of the political office has been given to Mohammad Naeem Wardak. Taliban chief Maulvi Hibatullah Akhunzada has appointed a hard-line cleric, Sheikh Abdul Hakim, as the group’s key negotiator for crucial Afghan peace talks. With the appointment of Hakim, the Taliban leader has strengthened his control over the group’s political affairs. The negotiation team includes 13 members of Rehbari Shoura, the leadership council, who answer to the chief.(20200906)
Experts say Ishaqzai is widely respected among the Taliban for his religious credentials, ranking alongside Mullah Akhundzada as the most senior cleric in the militant group.
This is important because the Taliban likes to assert religious justification for what they do. Many of the senior commanders and leaders never actually qualified from their madrasahs and so are 'unqualified. The presence of Ishaqzai adds weight to whatever the negotiating team cares to do.
Ishaqzai graduated from and taught at the Darul Uloom Haqqania Islamic seminary in northwest Pakistan, which is known for preaching a fundamentalist brand of Islam and schooling a generation of fighters for the Afghan Taliban. The so-called university of jihad counts some of the world's most notorious terrorists among its alumni, including Taliban founder and spiritual leader Mullah Mohammad Omar -- who died in 2013 in Pakistan -- and Jalaluddin Haqqani, the late leader of the Pakistani-based Haqqani network that is allied with the Afghan Taliban.
Ishaqzai's reputation among the Taliban is also enhanced by his birthplace. He hails from the Panjwai district in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar. The district is considered the spiritual home of the Taliban. Ishaqzai's appointment also "contains" the "serious tension" between political chief Mullah Baradar and Stanekzai, the former lead negotiator who has been demoted to deputy chief negotiator.