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As a child, Assef is a twisted individual who outright believe that Hitler's deeds are good and honors the man's evil deeds. He has no morals and enjoys seeing people suffer as he bullied children in his neighborhood. Since Assef is outright xenophobic, he has no qualms talking down on Hazaras and wishing to see them destroyed. When he is around adults such as Amir's father and guardians, Assef puts up a fake personality acting all amicable and friendly. Even as a child, Assef has sadistic pleasure in torturing his victims such as raping Hassan to prove a point on how low Hazaras are. And as a teen, he is traitorous as he raped one of his men for an unknown reason.
As an adult, Assef is homicidal as the first time he debuts from the timeskip he stoned a man to death. He is as clever and sadistic as he was when he was a child but this time has more of an intent to carry out his goals of genocide. Not only does he enjoy wreaking havoc among civilians as a terrorist leader but he kidnaps children to make them into his sex slaves. When he confronted Amir, he showed some leniency towards slaughtering him on sight but openly admits that he took pleasure in raping Hassan's son and even tried to prevent the child from leaving with Amir.
Assef first appears with his companions to taunt and bully and Amir and Hassan. He repeatedly call Hassan out for being a Hazara whenever he met him. One day after Amir and Hassan was done flying their kites, Hassan got lost and ended up in an alley where he was raped by Assef with the help of his friends. Amir witnessed the whole thing and went into silence by ignoring Hassan's existence. One night at a party, Hassan attended the party where he socialized with the adults and had a fun time at the expense of Amir's misery. When Amir and part of his family had to relocate to avoid terrorists, it was revealed that one of Assef's closest friends, Kamal, was raped by Assef.Decades later, Assef joins the Taliban and was responsible for numerous deaths that happened in the region. After Hassan's death, Assef kidnapped his son, Sohrab, and kept him as a sex slave. When Assef first appears, he stoned a man to death in a spectator crowd. When Amir confronted Assef on releasing Sohrab, Assef refuses which resulted in a physical altercation. Ultimately, Assef was knocked back and Sohrab threw a ball into his socket leaving the latter convulsing on the ground while the two made their escape.