Afghan Biographies

Hafiz Gul Bahadur

Name Hafiz Gul Bahadur
Ethnic backgr. Pashtun
Date of birth 1961
Function/Grade Pakistani Taliban Leader
History and Biodata

Hafiz Gul Bahadur
 was born 1961 in Madda Khel, North Waziristan,  is the leader of a Pakistani Taliban faction based in North Waziristan. Upon the formation of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in December 2007, he was announced as the militant group's overall naib amir under Baitullah Mehsud, who was based in South Waziristan, but has largely distanced himself from the TTP due to rivalries with Mehsud and disagreements about the TTP's attacks against the Pakistani state.

Gul Bahadur, a direct descendant of Mirzali Khan, is a member of the Madda Khel clan of the Uthmanzai Waziris. Educated in a Deobandi madrassa located in Multan, he is affiliated with the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) political party.

Gul Bahadur fought in Afghanistan during the Soviet–Afghan War and later during the rule of the Taliban.In August 2001 he recruited about 4,000 volunteers to oppose the proposed placement of United Nations monitors, who were to prevent the flow of weapons from Pakistan to Afghanistan. Gul Bahadur objected because the monitors would have hampered the ability of Pakistani Pushtuns to support the Afghan Taliban against the Northern Alliance. (The volunteer militia was never deployed, however, due in part to repercussions of the 9/11 attacks).

Hafiz Gul Bahadur is closely allied with Sirajuddin Haqqani and provides him with a rear base in North Waziristan.Anti-American Taliban are headed by Gul Bahadur and Haqqani network.

Bahadur’s conflicting views on the Pakistani state, combined with his attacks on government forces, show his desire to preserve his autonomy and power through limited action. Most of Bahadur’s interactions, however, have occurred with fellow fighters in North Waziristan. These relationships best show Bahadur’s personality as a survivalist: he hopes to maintain power through fealty to Haqqani and Omar while fending off foreigners who encroach too much on his power or draw too much attention to Bahadur’s area of influence.

Bahadur remains a jihadi committed first to his own survival, second to the conflict in Afghanistan, third to Beitullah Mehsud, and last to his vision of an Islamist Pakistani state. His background of accruing political power, fluid ideology and alliances, and loyalty to Mullah Omar and Haqqani has given him the tools to continue supporting the fight against the American-led coalition in Afghanistan while compromising on almost everything else.

On March 18, 2024, Pakistan Air Force carried out air strikes in Khost and Paktika provinces of Afghanistan, aimed at attacking the terror hideouts used by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), especially its Hafiz Gul Bahadur faction, killing eight terrorists. The immediate provocation was a terror attack carried out by TTP at Mir Ali in North Waziristan district of Pakistan in which several Pakistani soldiers, including two senior officers, were killed. According to Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the prime target of Monday's (20240318) operation were terrorists belonging to Hafiz Gul Bahadur Group, which along with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), is said to be responsible for multiple terrorist attacks inside Pakistan. The latest attack took place on March 16 at a security post in Mir Ali in North Waziristan and claimed the lives of seven Pakistani soldiers.

Last Modified 2024-03-21
Established 2023-11-29