Afghanistan: February 9, 2002


The former foreign minister of the Taliban surrendered to U.S. forces in Afghanistan overnight. Mullah Absul Wakil Mutawakel was always one of the more "moderate" Taliban. About 30 years old, he was more educated than most Taliban leaders, but still a true believer in Taliban rule. The other Taliban leaders, including for Taliban head Mullah Omar, are believed to be hiding out with the help of their tribal kinsmen (who received favors from their guy when the Taliban were in power). The new government does not yet have the military power to move into these hostile tribal lands. Mutawakel was apparently hiding out in Pakistan and seems to have run out of friends. It was, however, rumored last December that Mutawakel was unhappy with the Taliban leadership and was planning to surrender then. But he didnt. 


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