Mullah Baradar and Muhammad Arif Agha are not the same person, according to the Taliban, and the passport picture does not match Baradar. WION has obtained a photo of Baradar’s passport, which was issued in Afghanistan.
Pictures of a ‘Pakistani passport’ claiming to be of a top Taliban leader has gone viral on social media in recent days.
The claim is that the Taliban’s de-facto leader Mullah Abdul Ghani, who is also known as Baradar (brother), acquired a Pakistani passport under the identity of Muhammad Arif Agha in 2020.
The Taliban had already said that Mullah Baradar and Muhammad Arif Agha are not the same person and that the photo on the passport does not match Baradar.
The story of the ‘Pakistani passport’ goes back in time.
On June, 25th 2020, Afghanistan’s Khama Press published a report saying Mullah Baradar possessed not only a passport, but also Pakistan’s national identity card.
According to that report, Pakistan supplied these documents to Baradar under the fictitious identity of Muhammad Arif Agha. The report had cited a former official of Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security.
The documents were purportedly issued to Mullah Baradar on July 7, 2014, in Karachi, Pakistan, according to the article.
Mullah Baradar was in Pakistan at the time, having been detained by the ISI in 2010.
However, the image of Mullah Baradar’s Pakistani passport that has recently gone viral is a fake.
That photo is thought to be of the passport of a Pakistani woman. To construct a false passport image, it was tampered with and the photo and other details were modified.
Mullah Baradar has a lengthy history with Pakistan, and experts allege that he was used as a pawn by Pakistan before being released in 2018 following US involvement.