On September 7, the Taliban announced the names of several members of a new interim government in Afghanistan. It will be led by Mohammad Hasan Akhund.
Hasan Akhund was the head of the group’s decision-making body the Quetta Shura or chief council that was formed in Pakistan by Taliban’s leaders following the U.S. invasion in 2001. In 1996-2001 he was foreign minister and then deputy prime minister in the Taliban regime.
He was born in Kandahar and he has Pashtun lineage from Ahmad Shah Durrani, who was the founder of modern Afghanistan in 1700s. Mullah Akhund was close to the group’s first leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, being described as his “close associate and political adviser”.
Mullah Akhund is included in a UN sanctions list.
Abdul Ghani Baradar who was previously said to become a new Afghanistan’s leader by some reports will be the country’s acting Deputy Minister. Baradar is a head of the Taliban’s political office.
Acting Second Deputy Prime Minister is Abdul Salam Hanafi, who was deputy head of the group’s political office.
The post of Afghanistan’s acting Interior Minister will be held by Sirajuddin Haqqani, son of the founder of the Haqqani network. Haqqani is one of the most wanted terrorists of the FBI. He is suspected of involvement in a terrorist attack in 2008 in Kabul that resulted in deaths of US citizens. A reward of $5 million is promised for information about his location, which would lead to his capture.
Amir Khan Muttaqi, a Taliban’s negotiator in Doha, former representative of the movement’s leadership, was named acting Foreign Minister.
Acting Defence Minister is Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, son of Taliban founder Mullah Omar. He has led the Taliban’s military operations since 2020.
Hedayatullah Badri will be acting Minister of Finance, and Mohammad Hanif is acting Minister of Economy.
Mohammad Idris was appointed the acting head of the Central Bank of Afghanistan.
Acting head of intelligence is Abdul Haq Wasik, a former Guantanamo prisoner (2002-2014), who was exchanged to US servicemen captured by Haqqani militants.
The role of the Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhunzada in a new government was not revealed.
During the official conference, chief spokesperson of the Taliban Zabihullah Mujahid named 33 members of “the new Islamic government”. He added that the remaining posts will be announced after careful deliberation.
The spokesman explained that it is an “acting” government and that the Taliban is going to “try to take people from other parts of the country”. A lot of members of the new acting government are Pushtuns.
The Taliban had constantly claimed that the new Afghanistan’s government would be inclusive. At the same time, the group said that women would unlikely hold top level positions.
The acting government was finally announced after several Taliban’s claims that were saying that the new leader of Afghanistan would be Mullah Haibatullah Akhunzada or Abdul Ghani Baradar. However, the appointment of Mohammad Hasan Akhund seems to be a compromise between the Taliban’s political and military officials.
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