Afghan Taliban released a statement on Tuesday in which they announced the death of the founder of the infamous Haqqani Network, Mawlawi Jalaluddin Haqqani who, as they stated, had been bed-ridden for several years due to illness.
“It is with great regret that we inform our believing Mujahid Afghan nation and the vast Islamic Ummah that the prominent Jihadi figure, religious scholar, exemplary warrior and pioneer of celebrated Jihads; the Minister of Frontiers during the reign of Islamic Emirate and member of the Leadership Council, the esteemed Al-Haj Mawlawi Jalaluddin Haqqani has passed away after a long battle with illness,” stated the Afghan Taliban on Tuesday 4th September 2018.
Haqqani had become all but a ghost over the past few years and had even been rumoured dead according to several reports back in 2015.
He had chosen to give up leadership of the Taliban’s operations in 2001 to his son, Sirajuddin Haqqani, the current Deputy Leader of the Taliban.
Born in Karezgay, a village in the Zadran district of the eastern Paktia Province in 1939, Haqqani had graduated with a doctorate from Dar-ul-‘Ulam Haqqaniya Deobandi seminary in 1964 and had acquired the title of Mawlawi in Peshawar in 1970.
Through the 1979-1989 anti-Soviet Jihad, Haqqani had achieved a fearsome standing as a military commander. He held close ties with Pakistani, US and Saudi intelligence making him not only a daunting leader but also an armed one in the anti-Soviet Jihad.
Haqqani was proficient in Arabic and had long been known to have been a key player in transporting Saudi funds for the anti-Soviet resistance and involved with al Qaeda with their first bases in Afghanistan built in Haqqani’s territory.
He pledged allegiance to the Taliban movement in 1995, right before they took control of Kabul and had since held senior positions in the Taliban, especially in the war against the Northern Alliance commander, Ahmed Shah Masood.
However after the downfall of the Taliban in 2001, he took to tribal areas near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
Currently the Haqqani network has orchestrated some of the largest and attacks in Kabul in the revolt against the NATO and Afghan government.
Haqqani has seven known sons: Sirajuddin Haqqani, Badruddin Haqqani, Nasiruddin Haqqani, Mohammed Haqqani, Omar Haqqani, Aziz Haqqani and Anas Haqqani.