Mullah Abdul Qayum Zakir has been appointed to replace Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who was seized by Pakistan's intelligence officials in Karachi last month. Mullah Zakir was held in Guantnamo Bay in Cuba for years under his real name Abdullah Ghulam Rasoul before being handed over to a prison outside Kabul in December 2007. The following year he was released from Pul-e-Charki prison and rejoined his former comrades where he rapidly rose through the ranks. He is believed to have assumed caretaker responsibility for military operations since Mullah Baradar was arrested. His position had been formally confirmed in the past week a source familiar with the announcement told The Daily Telegraph. He will share the deputy position with Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansur, the minister for civil aviation during the Taliban regime. The reasons for his release from Afghan custody remain secret but it is likely the US government would have received reassurances before he was handed over from Guantnamo. Hamid Karzai's palace refused to comment on the release. While Mullah Baradar was considered a political pragmatist open to possible negotiation, Mullah Zakir was opposed to talks the source said. Since his release he has been instrumental in orchestrating attacks on British troops in his home province of Helmand. Mullah Zakir, was captured in December 2001 when he handed himself over to anti-Taliban commander General Abdul Rashid Dostum as the Taliban regime fell with US assistance. Documents from his time in custody show he tried to convince his captors he was conscripted into the Taliban against his will and bore the Americans no malice. When a military tribunal asked what he would do if returned to Afghanistan, he replied: "I want to go back home and join my family and work my land and help my family." He praised the United States for wanting to help his country. However the documents show he also argued with guards he accused of disrespecting the Koran. The Pentagon has previously said up to 60 former Guantnamo inmates have returned to join the Taliban or al Qaeda after their release.