Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai: IMA to Taliban a Complete Journey


Taliban’s leaders and commanders are being discussed all over the world since it occupied Afghanistan. The most discussed dreaded commander who has undergone military training in India and is the most capable commander of the Taliban to the current date. The commander whom the Taliban knows is Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai.

Who is Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai or SHERU?

Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, the Head of Political Office of Taliban, was once a gentleman cadet at IMA Dehradun where he was called Sheru by his batchmates. He is now one of the intimate men in the Taliban. He was a minister in the Taliban government as well.

After completing his training at the IMA, Stanikzai went on to join the Afghan National Army as a lieutenant. He fought the Soviet-Afghan war and the Islamic Liberation of Afghanistan.

During the previous Taliban regime, Stanikzai served as a deputy minister of foreign affairs and traveled to the US during the Bill Clinton regime for diplomatic talks on behalf of the Taliban. In 2015, Stanikzai was appointed the head of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar. Stanikzai has also traveled to several countries to represent the Taliban and participated in several peace talks.

How has he joined IMA?

Sher Mohammad was 20 years old when he came to IMA. He was the most likable, who seemed a little older than the other cadets. At that time, he was not of fundamentalist ideology and an average Afghan cadet.

IMA has been training foreign cadets since the independence of the country. Cadets from Afghanistan started coming here for training after the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Stanikzai was recruited directly from the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.

When the Taliban opened its political office in Doha, where its senior leaders later stationed themselves there, the office was run by Sher Mohammad until Abdul Ghani Baradar came to Doha to engage in talks as a representative of the Taliban even after this, Sher Mohammad remained one of the top negotiators of the Taliban.

Will he be a counterpart for India to start talks with the Taliban??

Since India is in a position of wait and watch. If the Indian government wants, it can talk to the Taliban by talking to them through friends of its IMA. If the talks went effective it would be a diplomatic win for India since India had a friendly relation with Afghanistan and India had lots of investment there for Afghani people.