Taliban announces new government in Afghanistan

The Taliban has appointed Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund, a close aide to the group’s late founder Mullah Omar, as the ‘acting’ Prime Minister in the new Afghan government, with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Mullah Abdus Salam being his deputies. The dispensation that has been declared is a ‘caretaker government’, the Taliban’s spokesperson, who has appointed himself Information Minister, said.

The Taliban on Tuesday unveiled their cabinet as the group formally announced their government after taking over Afghanistan in a lightning offensive last month. The list of cabinet members announced by chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid on Tuesday was dominated by members of the group’s old guard, with no women included.  In a press conference in the capital city of Kabul, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said it is just an “acting” government which will be led by Mullah Mohammad Hassan, the little-known head of the Taliban’s leadership council. Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the face of the Islamist group, will serve as his deputy. In the new government, Sirajuddin Haqqani has been appointed as interior minister, while Mohammad Yaqoob, the eldest son of the Taliban founder Mohammad Omar has been named as Minister of Defense. Mujahid said that the Taliban is working on making the government more inclusive. “We will announce all the ministries, we are working on that, we are trying to include people from all parts of the country in the government,” he said.

There was no evidence of non-Taliban in the line-up, which has been a big demand of the international community. The Taliban took over the capital city of Kabul on August 15 in the aftermath of the US drawdown. The chaotic exit led to a mass exodus of the people who feared the extremist regime of the Taliban.