Afghan Biographies

Motasim, Agha Jan

Name Motasim, Agha Jan
Ethnic backgr. Pashtun
Date of birth 1968
Function/Grade Mullah Omar's Son-in-law
History and Biodata

2. Previous Functions:
Chief Administrator and in-charge of political affairs of the Afghan Taliban
Member of the Quetta Shura
Finance minister during Taliban rule in Afghanistan.

motasim_agha_janAgha Jan Mutasim was born 1968 or 1971 in a small village in southern Kandahar Province and became quite close to Omar during the anti-Soviet jihad at a young age. The allegedly Son-in-law of Mullah Omar Ummar, has been captured by security agencies in Karachi. He was the Chief Administrator and in-charge of political affairs of the Afghan Taliban. However, It is not clear where precisely Jan fits into Omar’s family. In early December 2002, Zalmay Khalilzad, then the American special envoy to Afghanistan, stated that a son-in-law of Omar had been captured in southern Afghanistan but at the time it was believed that Omar did not have any daughters of marriageable age by his three or perhaps four wives.

Jan was a member of the Quetta Shura. He was the Finance minister during Taliban rule in Afghanistan. Motasim Agha Jan was captured 20100304 when intelligence agencies on tip off conducted raid on a house at Ahsanabad area of Karachi, Pakistan. He was arrested as part of an ongoing crackdown on the "Quetta Shura" or council of the militants led by Mullah Muhammad Omar, the elusive chief of the Afghan Taliban. Agha had introduced himself to investigators as Tayyeb Popalzai to hide his identity.

In 2009, after he reportedly was tried and found guilty by a Taliban council on charges of embezzlement and opening unauthorized contacts with Western representatives. For years he had been suspected of absconding with millions of dollars from the state treasury when the regime fell, although he still insists he never stole a penny and denies that the council found him guilty of anything.

Despite his moderate views, Motasim was regarded as a potential rival and possible replacement for Mullah Omar’s then second in command, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. That ended in 2009, when Baradar summarily kicked him off the Quetta Shura and stripped him of his others posts. Pakistani security forces arrested Baradar in early 2010, and he hasn’t been seen or heard from since. Motasim was arrested a month later but quickly released again, which gave rise to speculation that he was in cahoots with Pakistan’s intelligence services.

Motasim Agha Jan was one of three emissaries sent to the Gulf in early 2011 to make contact with the Americans. Diplomats insist the discussions in Qatar and at least one meeting in Germany are just "talks about talks". (Motasim was among three Taliban envoys, who attended a 2011 meeting with the United States in Bonn and Doha.) British sources say they are still not sure if the men speak for Mullah Mohammad Omar, the spiritual leader of the Taleban and the only man with enough authority to deliver a meaningful ceasefire. (20110628)
The presence of Agha Jan, who is married to one of Mullah Omar's daughters, also appears to corroborate claims of the leader's endorsement. A long-time confidant of Mullah Omar, Agha Jan was appointed to the head of the Taleban's political commission in 2008, and would have been in charge of prospective contacts with western governments and Kabul.

In his current home in Ankara, Motasim talked about what went wrong. “Due to a lack of understanding, some of my colleagues and friends did not agree with my concept that the Taliban should be a political movement as well,” he says. “My differences of opinion were not with the rest of the shura but with a few Taliban hardliners.” Those who defy the Quetta Shura’s strict line are risking arrest by the council’s enforcers – or possibly even death, he said.(20120425)

Motasim says he’s no defector. The only reason he’s in Turkey is for assistance in recovering from his gunshot wounds, he says. (Motasim Agha Jan was seriously injured in an assassination attempt 2011.) Still, he seems to have found a warm welcome there despite the presence of his name on U.S. and United Nations terrorism blacklists. His hosts want their country to play a more active and high-profile role in the search for an Afghan peace agreement.

Nevertheless, Turkey’s hospitality toward Motasim is said to worry Pakistan and some senior Taliban leaders . They fear that other Taliban commanders might follow his lead and seek refuge in Muslim countries other than Pakistan.

The Taliban on 20120814 disowned Agha Jan Mutasim as a leader of the movement, saying that he was dismissed in 2010. The UN removed Mutasim’s name from its blacklist in a bid to kick-start the stalled peace talks between the insurgents and the United States. Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, accused the ex-minister of lacking transparency in his actions. “Currently, he neither holds any post nor represents the Islamic Emirate.” He called Mutasim’s statements and actions dictates that he received from others. The Taliban urged all media outlets to avoid associating Mutasim’s statements and views with the movement.(20120815)

Mutasim Agha Jan, said in his Turkey exile that the insurgent group is ready to negotiate a peace deal with the Afghan government. Agha Jan said that the Taliban is not looking at a return of an "Islamic Emirate" in Afghanistan, adding that any government system should be formed on the basis of public votes. According to Mutasim, the Taliban are mainly divided into two groups: the 'hardliners' and the 'moderate' ones. The moderate group is already on board for peace talks, he said. He called the Taliban representatives in Qatar as hardliners, who cite stricter terms and conditions when it comes to peace talks. (20130616)

Mullah Agha Jan Mutasim, who seems to be a Karzai government directed propaganda front man, recently (20140200) pointed towards a Taliban group’s preference for holding peace talks with the Afghan government. Mullah Agha Jan Motasem has reportedly said that the decision was taken during a meeting attended by nearly former 20 Taliban leaders in Dubai who attended the meeting included seven former ministers in the Taliban government, eight former senior military commanders and four former Taliban diplomats. However Mutasim speaks without any authorization for the present Afghan militant Taliban set up. The government of Afghanistan welcomed its own organized remarks by a Taliban group leader. The Taliban said Motasim is not authorized to speak on behalf of them. (20140217)
Officials led by Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, a senior aide to President Hamid Karzai, travelled to the United Arab Emirates, officials from the High Peace Council and the Afghan government confirmed.The delegation planned to meet a group of Taliban figures led by Agha Jan Mutassim, who was a finance minister during the Taliban's 1996-2001 government, the officials said on condition of anonymity.(20140216)
Zabiullah Mujahid, spokesman for the Taliban group, following a statement, said Mullah Agha Jan Mutasim does not represent the Taliban group and has not links with the movement. Mujahid in his statement further added that no member of the Taliban group has attended any talks with the Afghan government officials in Dubai. Mujahid said there has not been any meeting in Dubai of the Afghan Taliban or on its behalf, nor has it been in contact or with the Kabul government or the High Peace Council. The Taliban in their first formal reaction disowned the Dubai peace process and said that they have nominated specific negotiators and have a political office in Qatar. “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan reiterates to all stakeholders that it has neither entrusted Agha Jan Mutasim with a responsible position nor can he represent it,” said Zabihullah Mujahid. “The Islamic Emirate considers [Mutasim's] current activities and actions against the principles of sacred jihad and they are benefiting only the invading Americans along with their servants,” he said. (20140219)

The Afghan high peace council (HPC) chief executive Mohammad Amin Waqad said 20140410 that peace talks between the Afghan officials and former Taliban leaders will resume soon in United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Afghan peace delegation wanted to meet with Mutasim Agha Jan and other Taliban.
Sources close to Agha Jan Mutasim including his family members have confirmed that he has gone missing in UAE and they cannot contact him since last week. Mullah Agha Jan Mutasim had agreed to hold more talks to push the peace. The initiative by Agha Jan Mutasim to hold talks between the Afghan government and Taliban militants had annoyed the Taliban group. Agha Jan Mutasim has been put under house-arrest by the authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He had been under investigation since last week by officials in the UAE. There is a possibility he might be deported to Kabul, a source said.(20140411) Agha Jan Mutassim has been placed under house arrest in the United Arab Emirates, officials said on 20140417. A Western security source in Kabul confirmed Mutassim had been put under house arrest, and that the UAE was considering deporting him to Afghanistan. Agha Jan Mutasim has been released from home confinement by authorities in the United Arab Emirate (UAE).(20140418) The next day Mutasem was moved from Dubai to Kabul (on Saturday) and transported to a secure location in unmarked vehicles. Pressure from other countries  caused the UAE to deport Mutasem to Afghanistan which is not a suitable place for peace talks with the Taliban.(20140419)

Former Taliban leader Mutasem Agha Jan who was reportedly brought to Kabul on Saturday 20140419 after being detained in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) under murky circumstances last week will be transferred to Turkmenistan, a member of the Afghan High Peace Council (AHPC) said. (20140422)


A senior Taliban leader, Ex Taliban Minister for refugees, Mullah Raqeeb was  killed by unknown gunmen in Peshawar city of Pakistan, a day after he attended the talks in Dubai.(20140411)





Last Modified 2015-01-11
Established 2010-03-04