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    A look at Rabbani's life

    KABUL (PAN): Born in the mountainous northeastern province of Badakhshan in 1940, former president and High Peace Council head Burhanuddin Rabbani graduated from Al Azhar University in Egypt.

    Rabbani received his Masters from the Faculty of Islamic Studies at Kabul University in 1963. Five years later, he went for higher studies to Egypt, where he was deeply influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood Movement's philosophy.

    On his return from Egypt, he set up a Youth Foundation, jointly with Kabul university professors, including Ghulam Mohammad Niazi, Syed Mohammad Musa Tawana, Wafiullah Samiyee and others.

    The foundation opposed the government of King Zahir Shah. When Prof. Niazai parted ways with him, Rabbani renamed the foundation as Jamiat-i-Islami.

    Along with several friends, he migrated to Pakistan in 1974 when the communists, who threw former President Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan in 1973, started operations against Islamists and arrested a large number of them.

    He was one of key leaders involved in the jihad against the Soviet invaders and their Afghan puppets. After the jihadi leaders set up a government in exile in Pakistan, Rabbani was appointed as minister for reconstruction.

    After the ouster of the communist-backed government in 1992, mujahideen leaders elected Sibghatullah Mujaddedi, currently the reconciliation commission head, as president for two months.

    Under an agreement among jihadi leaders, Mujaddedi's term lasted two months afterward Rabbani took over as transitional president for six months. However, Rabbani backed out of his commitment and refused to resign.

    Rabbani then set up a council called Ahl-i-Hal Wa Aaqd, which helped Rabbani stay in the presidency from 1992 to 1996. When the Taliban seized Kabul in September 1996, he shifted his government to northern Afghanistan.

    Karzai was nominated as president at 2001 the Bonn Conference after the fall of the Taliban regime. Rabbani, who supported Karzai in the presidential election, was elected as a member of the Wolesi Jirga in the first-ever parliamentary vote in 2005.

    In 2007, he founded the National Front, which included former jihadi and communist parties opposed to the Karzai government. He did not participate in the second parliamentary election and struggled to re-organise the Jamiat-i-Islami.  

    After some time, he started talks with Karzai and stopped opposing his government. He was then elected as head of the High Peace Council.

    Rabbani is the third important jihadi leader to be assassinated by militants. Earlier, Wahdat-i-Islami leader Abdul Ali Mazari was killed by the Taliban.

    In September 2001, Ahmad Shah Massoud was killed by two Al Qaeda bombers, posing journalists. Another jihadi commander, Hezb-i-Islami leader Muhammad Younus Khalis, died a natural death.