Afghan Biographies

Stanikzai, Sher Mohammad Abbas

Name Stanikzai, Sher Mohammad Abbas
Ethnic backgr. Pashtun
Date of birth 1963
Function/Grade Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
History and Biodata

1. Former Heads of Taliban’s political office in Doha Qatar:
Tayyab Agha ((2009, 2014, 2015 resigend 20150803)
Al Haj Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai (20150805, 20180806))

2. Previous Functions:

Deputy Taliban Minister of Foreign Affairs
Deputy Taliban Minister of Public Health (2001)
Head of Taliban’s political office in Doha Qatar (20150805, 20180806)
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs MoFA (20210907)

3. Biodata:
Al Haj Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai Shir Abbas Stanekzai Stanakzai Mullah Sher Mohammad Agha Abbas Stanikzai (UN Sanctions List ID : TI.S.67.01) was born 1963 in Baraki Barak District, Logar Province and lived in Kabul (20111200). Educated at India’s military academy in Dehradun, which in the 1970s was involved in training Afghan army officials, Abbas Stanakzai is a Pashtun from Logar’s now restive Baraki Barak district. He joined the anti-Soviet jihad, first with Nabi Mohammadi’s Harakat-e-Inqilab-e-Islami, then with Abd ul Rasul Sayaf’s Ittehad-e-Islami, as commander of its south-western front. (Harakat is the mujahidin faction considered closest to the Taliban both in terms of worldview and personnel and included Mullah Omar in its ranks).


During the IEA, Stanakzai served as deputy minister of foreign affairs and later deputy minister of Public Health. The Western official who negotiated with the IEA on aid described Stanakzai as, ‘a bit of an outsider, not fully trusted by [foreign minister] Muttawakil and hence often in need to assert his position within the MoFA’. Unquestionably, though, Stanakzai is also remembered as an official deemed ‘presentable’ enough by Kandahar to be often assigned to entertain foreign visitors and occasionally give media interviews in English.

Stanakzai was rated as one of the Taliban's more skilled diplomats. He speaks good English and appear comfortable with western Journalists. He is a graduate of a military academy and a former Ministry of Foreign Affairs official and so having had more exposure to the outside world during Taliban reign in Afghanistan than many other in that specific time. After the collapse of the Taliban regime in 2001 he didn't play any significant role in the new Taliban movement.


Ataullah Lodin (High Peace Council Vice Chairman) said, that some former Taliban leaders including Abbas Stanikzai, Shahabuddin Delawari and Sayed Taib Agha have gone from Kabul to Qatar with their families.(20120102). The government of Qatar has agreed to financially support the Ex-Taliban leaders and their families.

Mullah Sher Mohammad Agha Abbas Stanikzai has replaced Tayyab Agha as Taliban’s Qatar office head. Tayyab Agha resigned the position in protest over Mullah Omar’s death being kept under wraps, calling it a historic blunder. He also vehemently criticised Mullah Mansoor’s appointment as new Taliban leader. Stanikzai — a supporter of Mullah Mansoor — had been appointed as new head of Taliban’s political office in Doha.(20150805)

Sher Muhammad Abbas Stanekzai took over Aug 06, 2015 as the acting head of the group’s political office in Qatar, a day after its former chief called it quits. Immediately after his appointment, Stanekzai pledged his allegiance to new Taliban supremo Mullah Akhtar Mansoor. “I and other members of the Political Office of the Islamic Emirate declare allegiance to the honourable Mullah Akhtar Mansoor,” he said in a statement. The previous head of the Qatar office, Sayyed Tayyeb Agha, resigned after developing differences over Mullah Mansoor’s election as Mullah Omar’s successor.

Stanekzai, who had also served as deputy minister for health in the Taliban regime, was the founding member of the Qatar office. He was later appointed as deputy to Tayyeb Agha. Believed to be aged between 55 and 60 years, Stanekzai is a former member of the Harkat-e-Inqilab-e-Islami of Muhammad Nabi and holds a masters’ degree in political science.

Stanekzai’s appointment will put an end to longstanding tensions between Tayyeb Agha and Mansoor and their understanding could help move the peace process forward, according to observers.(20151123)

Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, a former anti-Soviet fighter, and his deputy Abdul Salam Hanafi were appointed by the insurgents' leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour, a member of the Quetta Shura ruling council said 20151123.

Afghan politicians say Mullah Sheer Mohammad Abas who was assigned as the head of Taliban’s office in Qatar has close relation with ISI and is a confidential man of Mullah Akhtar.(20151124)


According to report, the first round of talks between the US and the Taliban were held in the last week of July 2018 in Qatar.

Alice Wells, the US’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs and Mullah Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the head of the Taliban’s political office, represented their sides in the talks. Some media reports have however indicated that officials from the Pentagon and the Centeral Intelligence Agency (CIA) were also present at the talks.(20180806)

The head of Qatar office Alhaj Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, deputy chief of the political office of Taliban Mawlavi Abdul Salam Hanafi, members of the political office Sherikh Shahabudin Delawar, Qari Din Mohammad Hanif, Alhaj Mohammad Zahid Ahmadzai, and Mohamamd Sohail Shaheen met with the U.S. delegation led by Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad on Friday, Oct 12, 2018.

Taliban are likely to change their chief negotiator Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai in peace talks with the United States. Taliban’s top leadership has decided that Mohammad Fazil Akhund should be appointed as new chief negotiator.(20190502)

Stanikzai’s daughter, sources added, has completed her medical education in Doha, following her high school education at a well-known school.(20220414)

Stanikzai fluently speaks in Dari, Pashto, English, Arabic and Urdu.




Last Modified 2022-04-15
Established 2012-01-02