Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mullah Mohammed Omar

Profile: Mullah Mohammed Omar, Founder leader of Taliban

Mullah Mohammed Omar, or Mullah Omar is the founder leader of Taliban of Afghanistan and was the de facto head of state from 1996-2001. He held the official title of the Head of the Supreme Council and that of Commander of the Faithful from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. He is wanted by the US authorities for providing shelter to Osama bin Laden and his outfit, Al Qaeda.

Mullah Omar rose to power during the 1980s, when he led anti-Soviet Mujahideeen fighters to topple the Soviet regime in Afghanistan, losing his right eye in the ensuing battle.

He founded the Taliban movement in 1994, comprising of students from Islamic religious schools and Afghan refugees in Pakistan with the aim of restoring order to the lawless, post-Soviet Afghanistan.

He captured Kabul two years later without a fight, which many Afghans welcomed, believing it would mark an end to the civil war. Under Mullah Omar's rule, the Taliban enforced a strict interpretation of Islamic law, including banning women from going to educational institutions and work, persecuting homosexuals, and amputating the hands of thieves.

Following the 9/11 terror attack on the World Trade Centre in US, Washington led a campaign to oust the Taliban regime for sheltering Osama bin Laden, chief of Al Qaeda, and has since announced a $10m bounty on Mullah Omar's head.

The US-led invasion drove the Taliban out of power in Afghanistan and consequently, forced Mullah Omar to go into hiding. Omar, who is in his late 40s, remains a reclusive figure, and is believed to be hiding in the mountainous areas along the Afghan-Pakistan border.

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