Sep 08, 2021

Hardliners get key posts in new Taliban govt.

The Taliban have announced an interim government in Afghanistan, declaring the country an "Islamic Emirate".

The new cabinet, entirely male, is made up of senior Taliban figures some of whom are notorious for attacks on US forces over the last two decades.

It will be led by Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, one of the movement's founders, who is on a UN blacklist.

The interior minister is the feared FBI-wanted leader of the Haqqani militant group, Sirajuddin Haqqani.

The Taliban seized control of most of Afghanistan more than three weeks ago, ousting the previous elected leadership.

The announcement of the acting cabinet is a key step in the formation of a permanent Taliban government. The new leadership will face significant challenges, not least stabilising the country's economy and gaining international recognition.

The Taliban have previously said they wanted to form an inclusive government. However, all of the cabinet ministers announced on Tuesday (7) are already established Taliban leaders, and no women were included.

A statement attributed to Taliban Supreme Leader Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada told the government to uphold Sharia.

Other appointments to the new government include:
Mullah Yaqoob as acting defence minister. He is the son of Taliban founder and late supreme leader Mullah Omar. He first came to prominence in 2015 when, in an audio message released after his father's death, he called for unity within the militant group.
Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar will be one of the PM's deputies. Baradar was previously head of the Taliban's political office, and oversaw the signing of the US withdrawal agreement last year.
Amir Khan Muttaqi is acting foreign minister, a senior leader who took part in negotiations with the US about their withdrawal.

(BBC)

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