Mullah Muhammad Rasul speaks during a gathering in Farah province, Afghanistan November 3, 2015.
|Supreme Leader of High Council of Afghanistan Islamic Emirate|
|Governor of Nimruz Province for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan|
|Abdul Karim Brahui|
|Born||c. 1965 (age 53–54)|
Kandahar Province, Kingdom of Afghanistan
|Years of service||1994-present|
Mullah Muhammad Rasul is the leader of the High Council of Afghanistan Islamic Emirate, a Taliban splinter group in Afghanistan. He was a Taliban-appointed governor of Nimruz Province, Afghanistan. Rasul exerted economic pressures on ethnic and religious minorities unpopular with the Taliban, and made a considerable fortune controlling cross-border drug-smuggling through Nimruz.
Rasul was the Governor for Nimruz Province while the Taliban were in power during the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. He is said to have enjoyed close relations with former Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, and is considered to have been an "old and trusted friend" to him.
Rasul and his functionaries fled Nimroz following U.S. airstrikes on 13 November 2001, and his office was taken over by Abdul Karim Brahui. After the Invasion of Afghanistan, Rasul became the Taliban's shadow governor of Farah Province. He was also a member of the secretive Quetta Shura.
In 2015, Rasul broke away from the main Taliban leadership and established his own group, the High Council of Afghanistan Islamic Emirate. The split was a result of a disagreement over the ascension of Mullah Akhtar Mansour as leader of the Taliban. Rasul's followers accuse Mansour of hijacking the movement due to personal greed. Rasul says that he and his supporters tried to persuade him to step down and let the new leader be chosen by the Taliban council, but Mansour refused.
The High Council is suspected to be a client of Iran. They have demanded that foreign troops leave Afghanistan as a precursor for peace talks. Rasul's Taliban group has voiced support for the actions of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State abroad however, he has stated that neither group is welcome in Afghanistan. The group has also been reported of being supported by Afghan government though both the group and Afghan officials have denied this.
During the Friday prayer on August 16 2019, a powerful blast tore through a grand mosque in Pakistan's Balochistan province. The attack on the mosque, frequented by Taliban's leadership, only killed the brother and father of the Mullah Haibatullah.
The High Council of Afghanistan Islamic Emirate, claimed responsibility for the attack, adding that the prime target was Haibatullah.
Niazi echoed the Taliban's core leadership when it came to peace talks: No discussions should occur unless all U.S. and foreign troops depart the country.
'They are our brothers; [but] we will not let them in [Afghanistan] nor will we agree with them in this country.'