Declaring it as an “Islamic Emirate”, the Taliban has announced a caretaker Cabinet by allocating top berths to Taliban personalities who dominated the 20-year battle against the US-led coalition and its Afghan government allies. Hasan Akhund Mullah, one of its founders, has been appointed acting Prime Minister.
Here are the roles announced so far, as per BBC.
- Hasan Akhund Mullah, an associate of the movement’s late founder Mullah Omar, will lead the government
- Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar, deputy leader
- The son of Mullah Omar, Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, defence minister
- Sarajuddin Haqqani, son of the founder of the Haqqani network, interior minister. Also, one of the most-wanted terrorists on the FBI list
- Abas Stanikzai, deputy foreign minister
- Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, when announcing the Cabinet, said the appointments were for an interim government. He did not elaborate on how long they would serve and what would be the catalyst for a change.
So far, the Taliban has shown no indications that they will hold elections. The announcement of Cabinet appointments by Mujahid came hours after the Taliban fired in the air to disperse protesters and arrested several journalists, the second time in less than a week the group used heavy-handed tactics to break up a demonstration in the Afghan capital of Kabul.
Demonstrators had gathered outside the Pakistan Embassy to accuse Islamabad of aiding the Taliban’s assault on northern Panjshir province.
Meanwhile, an Afghan employee of an American organization in Afghanistan says the Taliban is blocking her and hundreds of other people from boarding charter evacuation flights out of Afghanistan.
The woman spoke to The Associated Press anonymously Tuesday, saying she feared for her safety if she is singled out by the Taliban. The US organisation, Ascend, has worked for years with Afghan women and girls. The woman is among several hundred people, reportedly including American citizens and green card holders, who say they have been waiting in large residence halls and hotels for more than a week for permission to board waiting for charter flights out of the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif.