Taliban Names Key Ministers in New Afghan Government
14:40 GMT 07.09.2021 (Updated: 16:25 GMT 07.09.2021)
The insurgent group previously promised to create an inclusive government despite rejecting notions that it would be democratically elected. A majority of foreign countries have said they are not currently planning to recognise the Taliban* government.
The Taliban* has named those who will hold key ministerial posts in Afghanistan’s new government following the movement’s takeover of the country. Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund will become the prime minister in the new government. He served as deputy prime minister in the Taliban government in Afghanistan prior to the US invasion.
The declared government is temporary, not permanent
Meanwhile, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has become acting deputy prime minister, with Mohammad Yaqoob, the deputy Taliban leader and son of the movement's founder, receiving the post of acting defence minister in Hasan Akhund's government. Abdul Salam Hanafi has been made the second deputy to Prime Minister Akhund. Amir Khan Muttaqi, in turn, has received the post of acting foreign minister in the new Afghan Cabinet.
© REUTERS / STRINGERTaliban forces walk in front of Afghan demonstrators as they shout slogans during an anti-Pakistan protest, near the Pakistan embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, September 7, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer
Taliban forces walk in front of Afghan demonstrators as they shout slogans during an anti-Pakistan protest, near the Pakistan embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, September 7, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer
One of the two deputies of the Taliban’s supreme commander, Sirajuddin Haqqani, has been appointed acting interior minister of Afghanistan. He is suspected of organising a series of bombings in Kabul in 2008 and plotting the assassination of then-Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Sirajuddin Haqqani is also wanted by the FBI over the January 2008 bombing, which killed an American citizen.
The movement’s spokesperson also revealed the key figures in the economic and financial part of the government, with Qari Din Mohammad Hanif taking over as acting economy minister, Mohammad Idris as head of Afghanistan’s Central Bank, and Hedayatullah Badri as acting finance minister.
Justice, Education, Immigration, and Other Ministers
Mawlawi Abdul Hakim Sharie has been named acting minister of justice, and Abdul Haq Wasiq has received the post of acting director of intelligence. Ahmad Jan Ahmady will serve as the acting director of the Administrative Office of the President.
Sheikh Mawlawi Noorullah has been awarded the office of acting education minister, while Abdul Baqi Haqqani will be filling the role of the country's minister of higher education. Mullah Khairullah Khairkhah, in turn, will become acting minister for information and culture.
Mawlawi Noor Mohammad Saqib will be put in charge of managing Hajj and religious affairs in Akhund's government, and Mullah Noorullah Noori will be dealing with borders and tribal affairs. Additionally, Khalilurahman Haqqani will be appointed acting minister of refugees.
© REUTERS / STRINGERA member of Taliban forces stands guard next to a plane that has arrived from Kandahar at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan September 5, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo
A member of Taliban forces stands guard next to a plane that has arrived from Kandahar at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan September 5, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo
The Taliban spokesperson also revealed the names of six other acting ministers: Mullah Mohammad Younus Akhundzada will be appointed minister of rural rehabilitation and development, Mullah Abdul Manan Omari will get the post of acting minister of public work, Mullah Mohammad Esa Akhund will be assigned the role of minister of mines and petroleum. Mullah Abdul Latif Mansoor is getting the office of acting minister of water and energy, while Mullah Hamidullah Akhundzada will become acting minister of civil aviation and transport in the Hassan Akhund government. Lastly, Najibullah Haqqani will be named Afghanistan's acting minister of telecommunication.
Reaction to New Afghan Government
Despite the Taliban seizing Kabul on 15 August and recently reported to have captured the last rebelling region in the country, no foreign powers have so far announced plans to officially recognise the new ruling power in Afghanistan. The US has reacted to the announcement of the Taliban’s acting government by reiterating its earlier stance that it is still in "no rush" to recognise the Taliban-appointed government. Moscow has also said it has not made up its mind regarding recognising the new Afghan authorities.
"You know that so far no decisions have been made on the recognition of the Taliban. In addition, you also know that indeed we are very carefully monitoring everything that is happening there, and most importantly, we are still trying to understand how the promises of the Taliban, their statements, will correlate with their future actions"
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, in turn, warned against making any "hasty decisions" when it comes to recognising the Taliban government and urged to monitor the situation in the country first. He added that it should not escalate into a civil war and noted that the government has to be inclusive.
The insurgent group has also been slammed for failing to meet its self-proclaimed goal of building an inclusive government. Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the UN Ghulam Ishaqzai said the announced government is "anything but inclusive". Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani appointed Ishaqzai. The UN has not received any requests from the Taliban to replace him and it is not clear whether the global body would satisfy such a request from the internationally unrecognised government.
*The Taliban is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia and many other countries