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Published On: Tue, Sep 7th, 2021

Mullah Md Hassan Akhund to lead new Taliban govt in Afghanistan, Mullah Baradar to be deputy PM

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Afgan PMKABUL:  The Taliban on Tuesday (September 7, 2021) announced the interim government in Afghanistan and chose one of their founders Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund as their head, while Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar will be the deputy PM.
As per media reports, the Taliban’s new Afghanistan will have two deputies with the second one being Abdul Salam Hanafi. The Interior Minister will be Sirajuddin Haqqani who is the son of the founder of the Haqqani network. The network is designated as a terrorist organization by the United States.
Taliban included the leader of a U.S.-designated terrorist organization in a new government to formally mark the group’s return to power after 20 years of war with America, as the West grapples with whether to recognize the new administration.

Mullah Mohammad Hassan, the little-known head of the Taliban’s leadership council, was named as acting prime minister, spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said at a press conference in Kabul on Tuesday. Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the main public face of the group who signed a peace deal with the Trump administration last year, will serve as his deputy.
Sirajuddin Haqqani, leader of the Haqqani Network who is on the FBI’s most wanted list for terrorism, will serve as acting interior minister. That may complicate any moves by the U.S. to cooperate with the Taliban, particularly as President Joe Biden urges the Taliban to cut all ties with terrorist groups.
The Taliban want good relations with all countries in the world, including the U.S., Mujahed told reporters. He called the cabinet a “diverse group” that included a variety of ethnicities and backgrounds, although no women were chosen. “We’re not a tribal force,” Mujahed said, adding that the group wanted good relations with the U.S. despite the war. “We hope all countries in the world will recognize the legitimacy of our government and our Islamic regime.”
The U.S. and its allies have been watching to see whether the Taliban would form an inclusive government that can stabilize the country and prevent a return to civil war. Other demands include freedom of travel for those who want to leave Afghanistan and rights for women, who faced extreme repression when the Taliban last held power at the turn of the century.
At a briefing on Tuesday, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said she didn’t have a timeline for when the U.S. would recognize the new Taliban government and was still working to evacuate remaining Americans. “There’s no rush to recognition,” she said. “It is really going to be dependent on what steps the Taliban takes. The world will be watching, the United States included.”
Mujahed made no mention of Taliban Supreme Commander Haibatullah Akhundzada, who hasn’t been seen in public since becoming the group’s leader in 2016. Mohammad Yaqoob, the son of former supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar — who refused to give up Osama bin Laden to the U.S. before the 2001 invasion — became acting defense minister.
Other key cabinet members included:

  • Abdul Salam Hanafi, second deputy prime minister
  • Amir Khan Muttaqi as acting foreign minister
  • Hedayatullah Badri as acting finance minister
  • Din Mohammad as acting economy minister
  • Mohammad Edris as acting governor of the central bank

The regional and wider security threats have already played at the Kabul airport, where a suicide bombing blamed on a local off-shoot of the Islamic State terror group killed nearly 170 Afghans and 13 U.S. service personnel in the last days of the chaotic American evacuation from the country. The Taliban has sought to recast themselves in a more moderate mold: promising amnesty for their enemies, vowing to build an inclusive government with various ethnic groups, keep terrorist groups off Afghan soil and allowing women to work within the bounds of Shariah law.
(With Media Inputs).



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