Afghan Biographies

Akhund, Mohammad Hassan Mullah

Name Akhund, Mohammad Hassan Mullah
Ethnic backgr. Pashtun
Date of birth 1956
Function/Grade Prime Minister
History and Biodata

1. Former Prime Minister:
Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund (20210905, 20230518) acting

Mawlawi Abdul Kabir (20230518) acting
Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund (20210905, 20230518, 20230717) acting
First Deputy Prime Minister:
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (2021105)
Second Deputy Prime Minister:
Mullah Abdul Salam Hanafi Abdus Salam (20220102)

Acting third Deputy Prime Minister for Political Affairs of Afghanistan:
Mawlavi Abdul Kabir (2021, 20230319)

2. Previous Function:
Provincial Governor of Kandahar (1996)
Minister of Foreign Affairs (2001)
Rehbari Shura Head (20 years)
Vice President of Council of Ministers (20011107)
Interim Prime Minister of Afghanistan (20210905) appointed by Ameerul Momineen Sheikh Hibatullah Akhunzada (acting) (20230518)

3. Biodata:
Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund was born 1956 and hails from Sahmozai Village, Arghandab District, Kandahar Province. He was born into a Babar tribal family and studied at various Madrassahs in Pakistan. Durch the war against the Soviets he collaborated with Hezb-i-Islami (Khalis) under Haji Mohammad in the area Mohallajat near Kandahar. He was a close associate of Mullah Omar. He is subject to mood swings and difficult to work with.


Akhund is one of the Taliban’s most senior figures. He was a founding member of the group in the early 1990s and a deputy prime minister during the Taliban’s regime from 1996-2001. He also served as foreign minister and a provincial governor during that time.

Akhund, who hails from Kandahar, considered the birthplace of the Taliban, was believed to have been a close associate of late spiritual leader Mullah Omar.

During the Taliban’s insurgency, Akhund was a senior military commander. He also headed the Taliban’s leadership council, the group’s highest decision-making body, which is based in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta.

Akhund is probably best known as one of the architects of the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan, the giant cliff statues destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. 

Initially, Omar had no intention of destroying the statues. But the Taliban founder was angered at seeing conservation money being made available for the UNESCO world heritage site while failing to secure humanitarian aid from the United Nations for Afghanistan. As such, Omar sought out the advice of his shura, and Akhund was part of the council that ordered the destruction of the sixth-century statues. Akhund has been on the United Nations terror list since 2001, when the U.S.-led invasion toppled the Taliban from power. The UN has described him as one of the “most effective Taliban commanders.

Today, there are broadly two factions in the Taliban – a military wing that carries out the day-to-day campaigns, and a conservative religious elite grounded in Deobandism that acts as its political wing. Mullah Akhund aligns very much with the religious faction of the Taliban. Ibraheem Bahiss, an independent Afghan research analyst, says that considering Akhund’s seniority and status it is not a “huge surprise” that he was appointed as the new head of government.(20210908)

He was appointed as Raees-e-Jamhoor or Raees-ul-Wazara of Afghanistan.

There appears to be a power struggle behind Akhund’s appointment. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who served as deputy to Omar during the early years of the Taliban before assuming the position of de facto leader after Omar’s death, had been seen by many experts on Afghanistan as a potential head of state. But there is political tension between Baradar and the powerful Haqqani network – a family-based Islamist group that has become the Taliban’s de facto diplomatic arm in recent years and has been successful in gaining support for the group among other local groups.

The Haqqanis are among the most militant factions of the Taliban. And recent conciliatory language from Baradar on issues such as women’s rights, working with the international community and amnesty for members of the former government runs counter to the ideology of the Haqqani network.

Akhund seems to be a compromise candidate between supporters of Baradar and the Haqqani network.  Whether this arrangement is permanent or temporary remains to be seen, but the compromise could be a testing of the waters of the Taliban – to see how effective Akhund is as a unifying figure for the group.(20210908)

PM Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund on Wednesday in Kabul met with Ali Mohammad bin Hammad Al Shamsi, the UAE Minister of Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security and discussed bilateral relations, said Mohammad Naeem, spokesman of the Islamic Emirate political office.(20211229)

Credible sources said that Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, the Prime Minister of the Taliban regime, suffers from heart disease. According to sources, Mullah Hassan recently visited the French Medical Institute for Mothers and Children (FMIC) hospital for a checkup on Monday, April 4. The sources have reported that after the examination, Mullah Hassan Akhund’s disease was diagnosed as “Congestive Heart Failure”. (20220404)

He had suffered a heart attack after visiting Kandahar during the Eid holidays and despite 45 days having passed since, he was unable to recover and resume his responsibilities.(20230518)

Taliban said Hassan Akhund, who has served as the PM since the group’s return to power in 2021, was unwell and will remain off duty until he recovers.(20230518)

The prime minister of the Taliban interim government in Afghanistan, Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, on Monday, July 17, 2023 returned to office after a three-month break for health reasons.

“The prime minister after rest and treatment in (southern) Kandahar province on Monday returned to the capital Kabul,” Taliban’s deputy spokesperson Bilal Karimi said in a statement. During Hassan Akhund’s absence, Taliban supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada in May appointed Maulavi Abdul Kabir, who previously served as deputy prime minister in political affairs, as acting prime minister.(20230718)


Last Modified 2023-07-18
Established 2021-09-06