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Talibans All-Male Cabinet Features Designated Terrorists Including New PM Akhund

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 08, Sep 2021, 9:47 am IST | UPDATED: 08, Sep 2021, 10:00 am IST

Talibans All-Male Cabinet Features Designated Terrorists Including New PM Akhund

New Delhi: The Taliban announced the new government in Afghanistan on Tuesday with Mullah Hasan Akhund as the leader of the government.

Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar, who had led talks with the United States and signed the deal that led to America's final withdrawal from Afghanistan, and Mullah Abdus Salam will be the two deputies to Akhund in the new Taliban regime.

The Taliban also revealed an all-male interim cabinet for Afghanistan that is stacked with veterans of their hard-line rule from the 1990s and the 20-year battle against the U.S.-led coalition. The cabinet featured some familiar faces and as per the latest reports included at least three UN-designated terrorists, as mentioned by Reuters.

Mullah Hasan Akhund-Prime Minister

Mullah Hasan Akhund who has been named as the prime minister of the acting government was the foreign minister and then deputy prime minister when the Taliban were last in power and, like many of the incoming Cabinet, is under U.N. sanctions for his role in that government, reports Reuters.

Akhund is the longtime chief of the Taliban's powerful decision-making body Rehbari Shura, or leadership council. 

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar-Deputy Prime Minister

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, head of the movement's political office who was given his nom de guerre "brother", or Baradar, by Mullah Omar, was appointed as Akhund's deputy, main Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told a news conference in Kabul, said Reuters.

He served as deputy defence minister when the Taliban last ruled Afghanistan.

Following the fall of the Taliban government, Baradar served as a senior military commander responsible for attacks on coalition forces, a UN sanctions notice said, reports Reuters.

Serajuddin Haqqani-Interior Minister

Appointed as interior minister was Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is on the FBI’s most-wanted list with a $5 million bounty on his head and is believed to still be holding at least one American hostage. He headed the feared Haqqani network that is blamed for many deadly attacks and kidnappings, reports AP.

The FBI's official website says Haqqani is thought to stay in Pakistan, specifically the Miram Shah, North Waziristan, Pakistan, area. He is reportedly a senior leader of the Haqqani network and maintains close ties to the Taliban and al Qaeda. Haqqani is a specially designated global terrorist, says the FBI.

The Taliban have previously said they wanted to form an inclusive government. However, all of the cabinet ministers announced on Tuesday are already established Taliban leaders, and no women were included.

The National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF) said in a statement that it "considers the announcement of the Taliban's caretaker cabinet illegal and a clear sign of the group's enmity with the Afghan people".

Meanwhile, the United States said late on Tuesday that it is concerned about the "affiliations and track records" of some of the people named by the Taliban to fill top posts in Afghanistan's new government. A spokesperson for the US state department released a statement reiterating the expectation that the Taliban “ensure that Afghan soil is not used to threaten any other countries and allow humanitarian access in support of the Afghan people”,as mentioned in a Reuters report.

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