Afghan leaders protest at selection of ‘sanctioned’ ministers

KABUL: Major political parties in Afghanistan have expressed their displeasure over the Taliban’s new caretaker government for failing to include different groups.

On Tuesday, the Taliban formed the interim “Islamic Emirate”, appointing in its new government hardliners who oversaw the fight against the US-led military coalition. The cabinet members consist of many Taliban figures that are on the UN Sanctions List. “The announcement of the government showed that the Taliban is more monopolist and extremist in politics and power than the previous imposed leaders,” said Salahuddin Rabbani, Jamiat-e-Islami Party.

People from Afghanistan are entering Pakistan

Atta Mohammad Noor, the head of the splinter faction of Jamiat-e-Islami Party, said, “The announcement of the government is against all regulations and ruling laws. This is the sign of hegemony, monopoly and a return to the past. “According to us, this government is doomed to fail.”

The US, EU have also slammed the new government for failing to honour vows for an inclusive government. The United States on Wednesday said that the outfit would have to work for the right to be regarded by the international community as a legitimate government.

The remarks were made by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken after holding bilateral talks with German counterpart Heiko Mass at the Ramstein Air Base in western Germany. “The Taliban seek international legitimacy. Any legitimacy — any support — will have to be earned,” Blinken said, after the meeting.

Meanwhile, the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, which operates in the Panjshir province, described the new government as illegal. The resistance said that they will declare a parallel government after consultation with politicians.

Thousands of people are reportedly stranded at Kabul Airport.U.N. agencies are expressing grave concern about the welfare of Afghanistan’s civilian population, especially women and children, as Taliban insurgents tighten their control over the country.

Taliban on Tuesday announced the caretaker government of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, naming Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund as interim prime minister and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a co-founder of the group, as his deputy.

Mullah Yaqoob, one of the deputy leaders of the Taliban since 2016 and the son of Taliban founder Mullah Omar, will act as caretaker Defence Minister. Abdul Salam Hanafi has been made the second deputy to Prime Minister Akhund.

No non-Taliban figures were immediately announced- an indication that the outfit had not bowed down to domestic and international pressure to create an inclusive regime.

Taliban’s point of view on US position on blacklisting Afghan ministers

The Taliban on Thursday said the recent statement by the US about its position regarding blacklisting of some members of the newly formed Taliban government in Afghanistan is a breach of the February 2020 Doha Agreement.

“The latest US position regarding blacklist is a violation of Doha Agreement. Pentagon officials have remarked that some cabinet members of the Islamic Emirate or family members of late Haqqani Sahib are on the US blacklists and still targets. The Islamic Emirate considers this position a clear violation of the Doha Agreement which is neither in the interest of the United States nor Afghanistan,” the group said in a statement.

Zabihullah Mujahid, Spokesperson of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

The Taliban statement said that America and other countries are making such provocative statements and trying to meddle in the internal affairs of Afghanistan and that the Islamic Emirate condemns it in the strongest terms.

“Such remarks by US officials are a repetition of past failed experiments and such positions detrimental for America,” it said. We urge that these incorrect policies be immediately reversed through diplomatic interactions, it added.

Earlier this week, the Taliban had formed the interim “Islamic Emirate”, appointing hardliners in its new government who oversaw the fight against the US-led military coalition. The cabinet members consist of many Taliban figures that are on the UN Sanctions List.

Experts believe that the nomination of FBI wanted criminal Sirajuddin Haqqani, as the Interior Minister of the caretaker the government of Afghanistan was a “tight slap” on the US.

“Haqqani was well known to the US military and intelligence community, he escaped several attempts to target him. He is a wily and dangerous enemy with American blood on his hands,” said Seth G Jones, a senior vice president of a Washington-based think tank.

The Taliban statement tweeted by Zabihullah Mujahid, Spokesperson of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan said: “The family of honourable Haqqani Sahib is part of Islamic Emirate and does not have a separate name or organizational setup. Similarly, in Doha Agreement all officials of the Islamic Emirate without any exception were part of interaction with the US and should have been removed from the UN and US blacklists, a demand which still remains valid.”

The Taliban have appointed several hardliners in its new government. The list announced by chief spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid was dominated by members of the group’s old guard.Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund has been appointed Prime Minister with two deputies Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Molavi Abdul Salam Hanafi. (ANI)