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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Taliban unveils new Afghanistan ‘interim government’

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The Taliban declared victory over Afghanistan after capturing Panjshir on Monday, the last area to resist the militant group.

The Taliban announced a new caretaker government on Tuesday, with Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund serving as the new prime minister and the group’s co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar assuming the position of his deputy.

US working to provide aid to Afghanistan despite sanctions: Blinken

In a televised announcement, Taliban spokesman in Kabul Zabihullah Mujahid said Mohammad Yaqub Mujahid will act as the defence minister, Amir Khan Mottaki as the foreign minister with Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai as his deputy, and Sirajuddin Haqqani as the minister of interior.

Haqqani is sanctioned by the UN and the US and is also on the FBI’s most wanted list, with the agency offering $5 million bounty for his arrest.

Other members include: Hidayatullah Badri as the minister of finance, Sheikh Allah Munir as minister of education, Abdul Haq Watheq as the head of intelligence, Muhammad Idris as the head of the central bank, and Fasih Al-Din as the army commander.

Speaking at the announcement on Tuesday, Taliban spokesman Mujahid, who is also the deputy information and culture minister, said there are other seats in the administration whose ministers have not yet been appointed yet.

Despite promises by the Taliban to form an inclusive government amid international calls to ensure all Afghan parties are included, the newly-announced administration consists of mainly Taliban and Haqqani members.

However, Zabihullah noted that the group will “strive” to include all segments of the Afghan society” in the next government.

There were no statements made regarding the inclusion of women in the new administration.

The latest development came almost a month after the insurgents took control of Kabul, forcing former President Ashraf Ghani to flee to Tajikstan before then transferring to the United Arab Emirates.

The formation of the new cabinet comes at a critical time as concerns over a worsening humanitarian crisis make global headlines.


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