Arsala Rahmani

Arsala Rahmani

Afghan statesman
Country: Afghanistan

Biography of Arsala Rahmani

Arsala Rahmani, an Afghan statesman, served as the acting Prime Minister of Afghanistan (1994-1995), Minister of Higher Education in the Taliban government (1996-2001), and a member of the High Peace Council - leading the commission for the release of prisoners. Rahmani was born in 1944 in the Paktika province. Little is known about his life before the 1990s, except that he participated in the Afghan War (1979-1989) and was one of the field commanders fighting against Soviet forces.

Rahmani began his political career as the deputy head of the Harakat-i Islami party and later served as the Minister of Religious Affairs in Sebghatullah Mojaddedi's government. From 1994 to 1995, Rahmani briefly led the Afghan government as the acting Prime Minister. During the Taliban rule, he held the position of Deputy Minister of Higher Education. However, after the September 11 attacks in 2001, he switched sides and joined Hamid Karzai's government. Rahmani was included in the US blacklist but was removed from it in 2010. He was perceived as being very close to President Hamid Karzai.

In his final years, Arsala Rahmani was a member of the High Peace Council, which coordinated negotiations between the government and Taliban militants. He also led the commission for the release of prisoners. In 2011, Rahmani stated that the international community needed to establish an official political representation for the Taliban to facilitate peace talks, suggesting Turkey and Turkmenistan as potential host countries.

As an active member of the High Peace Council, Rahmani reportedly established contact with high-ranking members of the Taliban shortly before his death. On May 13, 2012, he was shot and killed on his way to work in Kabul. Rahmani was critically wounded in the heart and died in the hospital. The police were unable to apprehend the killer at the crime scene.

No armed opposition group claimed responsibility for Rahmani's death. Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, denied their involvement and condemned the actions of the killers. The assassination of the Afghan politician and High Peace Council member was also condemned by President Hamid Karzai, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, as well as representatives of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the US Embassy in Afghanistan.

Subsequently, on May 14, 2012, representatives of the little-known group "Front of Mullah Dadullah" claimed responsibility for Rahmani's killing, citing his collaboration with the Kabul government and foreign forces.