Born: 1940, Badhakshan
Former role: president of the Islamic State of Afghanistan1992-1996
Role: leader of the National Front
Burhanuddin Rabbani was key to the foundation of the Jamiat-e-Islami (Islamic Society of Afghanistan), leading the party's inner council from 1971.
He helped start the anti-communist movement during the 1950s and proved an inspirational speaker on the Kabul university campus in the mid-1960s, attacking the King's secular modernism and communist sympathies.
He fled to Pakistan in 1974 following Daoud's coup and the resulting suppression of the Islamic underground.
He set up base in Peshawar from where he ran Jamiat's military and political operations during the Soviet occupation.
A number of failed raids into Afghanistan led to policy differences between Rabbani and fellow party member Hekmatyar, which led to the latter's formation of his own Hezb-e-Islami party in 1976 (Hezb-e-Islami Afghanistan).
Rabbani's party soon became one of the largest and best organised of the anti-Soviet resistance groups, gathering an estimated 20,000 followers by the end of the occupation in 1989.
The party's military-wing was commanded by Ahmad Shah Massoud.
Rabbani was elected president after the fall of President Najibullah's government in 1992.
He immediately declared the foundation of the Islamic State of Afghanistan and, with Hekmatyar as his prime minister, called for a radical transformation of Afghan society with Islamic law and Koranic principles at its core.
In-fighting soon broke out, erupting into full scale civil war as Massoud and Rabbani's Shura-e-Nezar forces vied with General Dostum and Hekmatyar's Shura-e-Hamahangi forces for control of the capital.
The Taliban's rise to power and their capture of Kabul in 1996 spelt the end of Rabbani's leadership, although he retained the title President of the Afghan government despite its lack of control.
When the Taliban were ousted in 2001, Rabbani once more assumed the presidency, refusing to leave the presidential palace even after Karzai's government was formed in December.
UN negotiations and pressure from his own party finally persuaded the mujahideen leader to leave the compound.
He was voted into parliament in September 2005 and finally returned to a position of power in April 2007, when he became leader of the National Front.