Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a co-founder of the Taliban, found a place in Time Magazine's global list of '100 Most Influential People of 2021'.
The head of the Taliban's political office in Doha, Mullah Baradar, was credited with negotiating the Doha peace deal between the Taliban and the US. He is a founding member of the Taliban and was a close associate of the movement's founder Mullah Omar.
Baradar was appointed deputy to Mullah Akhund, head of the Taliban's new interim government, earlier this month.
A profile on Mullah Baradar in the Time Magazine by Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid describes him as the "fulcrum for the future" of Afghanistan.
Ahmed Rashid goes on to write, "A quiet, secretive man who rarely gives public statements or interviews, Baradar nonetheless represents a more moderate current within the Taliban, the one that will be thrust into the limelight to win Western support and desperately needed financial aid.
"The question is whether the man who coaxed the Americans out of Afghanistan can sway his own movement."
Baradar quells rumours of death
In what came as a surprise to most, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar recently made an appearance on Afghan state television to quell rumours about his death.
Multiple unconfirmed reports over the past few days hinted at a shootout between rival Taliban factions at the presidential palace in Kabul. There were claims that Baradar had suffered severe injuries in said shootout.
Blaming 'fake propaganda' behind rumours of his death, the Taliban leader can be heard telling Afghan state television: "There had been news in the media about my death. Over the past few nights, I have been away on trips. Wherever I am at the moment, we are all fine, all my brothers and friends."