Taliban announce new government for Afghanistan

The Taliban have announced an interim government in Afghanistan, calling the country an “Islamic Emirate.”

It will be led by Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, one of the movement’s founders, who is on the UN blacklist.

The Interior Minister will be the FBI’s wanted leader of the Haqqani militant group.

The Taliban seized most of the country August 15 and ousted the former elected leadership.

The announcement of an acting cabinet is an important step in establishing a Taliban government.

In a statement, Taliban leader Maulvi Hebatullah Akhundzada said he “wants strong and healthy relations with his neighbors and all other countries based on mutual respect and dialogue” – warning that he would abide by international law and We will respect the agreements.Islamic regulation and the country’s country wide values ​​”

The Taliban have previously said they want a comprehensive government. However, all of the cabinet ministers announced Tuesday are pre-existing Taliban leaders or their allies.

The new prime minister, Hassan Akhund, served as deputy foreign minister from 1996 to 2001, the last time the Taliban were in power.

The new acting interior minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, heads the militant group known as the Haqqani Network, which is linked to the Taliban and has been behind some of the deadliest attacks in the country’s two-decade-long war.

Unlike the broader Taliban, the Haqqani Network has been designated by the United States as a foreign terrorist organization.

Other appointments include Mullah Yaqub as acting defense minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi as acting foreign minister and Taliban co-founders Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Mullah Abdul Salam Hanafi as two deputies.

Yaqub is the son of Taliban founder and late Supreme Leader Mullah Omar. He first appeared in 2015 when he called for unity within the militant group in an audio message released after his father’s death.

Baradar previously headed the Taliban’s political bureau and oversaw the signing of the US withdrawal agreement last year.

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