Taliban announces new Afghanistan govt; Mohammad Hasan Akhund appointed as acting PM

The Taliban has appointed Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund as the ‘acting’ Prime Minister in the new Afghan government, with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Mullah Abdus Salam being his deputies, according to The IndianExpress.

Mullah Hasan is presently head of the Taliban’s powerful decision-making body—Rehbari Shura or leadership council— which serves much like a government Cabinet running all the group’s affairs subject to the approval of the top leader.

The supreme leader, Maulvi Haibatullah Akhundzada, himself proposed Mullah Hasan’s name to head the government, adding that the issues within ranks of the Taliban regarding the formation of the government have been resolved.

Mullah Hasan belongs to Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, and was among the founders of the armed movement. He worked for 20 years as head of Rehbari Shura and remained close to Mullah Hebatullah. He had served as foreign minister and deputy prime minister during the Taliban’s previous government in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.

However, it is not clear what role in the government would be played by Akhundzada. He has not been seen or heard in public since the collapse of the Western-backed government and the seizure of Kabul by the Taliban last month.

Meanwhile, Mulla Yaqoob, son of the Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar, will be the new defence minister, The IndianExpress reported. Yaqoob was a student of Mullah Hebatullah, who had earlier appointed him as head of the powerful military commission of the Taliban.

Sirajuddin Haqqani, the head of the notorious Haqqani network and son of the famous anti-Soviet warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani, will get the portfolio of interior minister, while Mullah Ameer Khan Muttaqi will be the new foreign minister, according to the Taliban sources. Sirajuddin Haqqani is a specially designated global terrorist.

According to the FBI website, the US Department of State is offering a reward of up to USD 5 million for information leading directly to the arrest of Haqqani, who is thought to stay in Pakistan, specifically the Miram Shah area in North Waziristan, and maintains close ties to the Taliban and al Qaeda.                                                                         Taliban had earlier offered “amnesty”across Afghanistan and urged women to join its government. In his first news conference, Zabihullah Mujahid had promised the Taliban would honor women’s rights, but within the norms of Islamic law. He said the group wanted private media to “remain independent,” but stressed journalists “should not work against national values.”

Enamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban’s cultural commission, had said, “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is ready to provide women with environment to work and study, and the presence of women in different (government) structures according to Islamic law and in accordance with our cultural values,” according to The IndianExpress.

Here is the list of ministers in the Taliban government:

Hasan Akhund as the ‘acting’ PM in the new Afghan government.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Mullah Abdus Salam will be his deputies.

Amir Khan Muttaqi will be the Foreign Minister.

Abas Stanikzai will be the acting deputy Foreign Minister.

Mullah Yaqoob will be the Defense Minister.

Sarajuddin Haqqani will be the Interior Minister.

Amir Khan Muttaqi will be the Foreign Minister.

Abas Stanikzai appointed as acting deputy Foreign Minister.

Acting Minister of Economy: Qari Din Hanif

Acting Minister for Hajj amd Religious Affairs: Mawlawi Noor Mohammad Saqib

Acting Minister of Justice: Mawlawi Abdul Hakim Sharie

Acting Minister of Borders and Tribal Affairs: Mullah Noorullah Noori

Acting Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development: Mullah Mohammad Younus Akhundzada

Acting Minister of Public Work: Mullah Abdul Manan Omari

Acting Minister of Mines and Petroleum: Mullah Mohammad Esa Akhund

Acting Minister of Water and Energy: Mullah Abdul Latif Mansoor

Acting Minister of Civil Aviation and Transport: Mullah Hamidullah Akhundzada

Acting Minister of Higher Education: Abdul Baqi Haqqani

Acting Minister of Telecommunication: Najibullah Haqqani

Acting Minister of Refugees: Khalilurahman Haqqani

Acting Director of Intelligence: Abdul Haq Wasiq

Acting Director of the Central Bank: Haji Mohammad Idris

Acting Director of the Administrative Office of the President: Ahmad Jan Ahmady

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