Taliban announce caretaker set up, Akhund to head govt.

Kabul: Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman for Taliban, Tuesday announced the newly caretaker Afghan government, saying that Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund would be the head of the set-up, assisted by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar as his deputy.

Addressing a presser, the Taliban spokesman also announced different portfolios of the cabinet including Mullah Amir Khan Muttaqi as foreign minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani as interior minister, Molvi Muhammad Yaqub as minister for defence and Hidayattullah Badari as finance minister. He said it was an interim set up of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which could be reshuffled later on.

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The announcement came after Taliban’s consolidation of its position in the wake of takeover of Kabul on August 15 after complete withdrawal of foreign forces led by US. They also announced complete control of Afghanistan with the fall of Panjshir province.

Mujahid said that they were confronted with different issues like poverty and economy and stressed upon all Afghans to work for the peace, stability and prosperity of Afghanistan. He maintained that Panjshir province had been now secured and peaceful and no war was raging there.

To a question, the Taliban spokesman, strongly rebutted that there was any interference by Pakistan, terming it as mere ‘a rumour’. Certain elements wanted to draw a wedge between Afghanistan and Pakistan, he added.

He said that Taliban had acted with complete freedom and were able to fight the countries who had been occupying Afghanistan. “We have sacrificed for the defence and for the people of this country and will not allow any interference,” he added.

Other members of the cabinet included; Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa – Information and Culture, Mullah Abdul Latif Mansoor – Water and electricity, Abdul Baqi Haqqani – Education, Najibullah Haqqani Telecommunications, Khalil-ur-Rehman Haqqani – Refugees, Abdul Haq Wasiq – Intelligence, Haji Address – Afghanistan Bank, Qari Din Mohammad Hanif – Economics, Maulvi Abdul Hakim Sharia – Minister of Justice, Noorullah Noori – Borders and Tribes, Younis Akhundzada – Rural Development,Mullah Abdul Manan Omari – Public Benefits,Mullah Mohammad Isa Akhund – Mines, Fasihuddin – Levi Drastiz, Shir Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai – Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Malvi Noor Jalal – Deputy Minister of Interior, Zabihullah Mujahid – Deputy Information and Culture, Mullah Taj Mir Javad – First Deputy Chief of Intelligence, Mullah Rahmatullah Najib – Deputy Chief of Intelligence and Mullah Abdul Haq – Deputy Minister of Interior in the fight against drugs.

Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund is presently head of the Taliban’s powerful decision-making body, Rehbari Shura or leadership council. He belongs to Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, and was among the founders of the Taliban movement.

According to details, Akhund had worked for 20 years as head of Rehbari Shura and earned himself a very good reputation. According to Taliban, Mullah Hasan had worked on important positions during their previous government in Afghanistan. He had served as foreign minister and as deputy prime minister.