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After the Taleban

Loya Jirga
Northern Alliance
Younis Qanooni
Mohammed Fahim
Abdullah Abdullah
Burhanuddin Rabbani
Rashid Dostum
Ismail Khan
Karim Khalili
Former king
Pashtun leaders
Women's voices
Ismail KhanIsmail Khan (Tajik)

Who he is: A warlord of Tajik origin, Ismail Khan is known as the "Lion of Herat". He is the former governor of Herat and was a mujahideen commander during the Soviet occupation and a thorn in the side of the Afghan communist government.

When Herat finally fell, he was handed over to the Taleban by General Pahlawan after a deal in 1997. He escaped last year after three years in a Taleban prison.

What he believes: A member of Jamiat-e-Islami, the largest political party in the alliance, led by Burhanuddin Rabbani. Mr Khan is thought to have received backing from Iran. Fighters loyal to Mr Khan reclaimed Herat for the former governor shortly after the Northern Alliance entered Kabul.

He is seen as the most independent of all regional governors, but is widely believed to be influenced and to have received assistance from of Iran. A new road had been recently built from the Iranian border to Herat.

Ismail Khan's powerbase is drawn mainly from Afghanistan's minority Shia Muslim population and wants increased representation for his region in the interim government. He is not considered a credible figurehead to many of the country's Pashtun majority.

Profile: Ismail Khan

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