Former Taleban foreign minister Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil was Afghan leader Mullah Mohammad Omar's right-hand man, but at the same time he was considered to be one of the Taleban's relatively moderate members.
Mullah Muttawakil is a young man, reported to be around 30 years old. He was born near Kandahar -- an ethnic Pastun and son of a religious scholar. He is reported to have studied in a religious school in Pakistan. He speaks Arabic and understands English.
Mullah Muttawakil gained Mullah Omar's trust -- becoming his driver, his translator and his spokesman.
But he was dismayed at the Taleban's destruction last March of the ancient, giant Buddha statues at Bamiyan.
News reports say Mullah Muttawakil also did not approve of the Taleban's close ties with the al-Qaida terrorist network. Security sources are quoted as saying Mullah Muttawakil broke with his boss late last year because of disagreement on the Taleban's refusal to hand over al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden to the United States.