KABUL: Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid on Tuesday announced 33 members of the “acting” government, saying that it will be led by Mohammad Hasan Akhund while the group’s co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar will be the deputy Afghan leader.
Key figures in the interim govt:
Prime Minister – Mohammad Hasan Akhund
Deputy Prime Minister – Abdul Ghani Baradar
Interior Minister – Sirjauddin Haqqani
Foreign Minister – Amir Khan Muttaqi
Deputy Foreign Minister – Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai
Defence Minister – Mullah Yaqoob
Army Chief – Fasihuddin Badakhshani
Finance Minister – Mullah Hidayatullah
Information Minister – Zabihullah Mujahid
Taliban’s deputy leader Sirajuddin Haqqani will be the acting interior minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi will be the acting foreign minister, political chief Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai will be the acting deputy foreign minister and Mullah Yaqoob will be the acting defence minister, he announced during a press conference in Kabul.
Mujahid himself will be the information minister, Fasihuddin Badakhshani will be the army chief, and Mullah Hidayatullah will be the finance minister.
The heads of various other ministries will be appointed soon, Mujahid added.
“All groups have been represented in the cabinet,” he said.
‘No one will be able to interfere in Afghanistan’
The Taliban spokesperson said Afghanistan had “gained freedom”, stressing that “only the will of Afghans” will be applicable in the country.
“After today, no one will be able to interfere in Afghanistan,” he emphasised.
Mujahid said that the Taliban had been in contact with various countries and their envoys had visited Afghanistan.
In response to a question, the spokesperson said the country will now be called the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
Mujahid said there was no fighting in Panjshir, the last holdout of anti-Taliban forces in the country and the only province the Taliban had not seized during their blitz across Afghanistan last month.
Implementation of Islamic laws
Separately, in a written statement, Acting Prime Minister Mohammad Hasan Akhund congratulated Afghans for the “withdrawal of all foreign forces, end of the occupation and complete liberation of the country”.
A caretaker and “committed” cabinet had been announced which will start working at the earliest, he said, adding that the leaders will “work hard towards upholding Islamic rules and Sharia (Islamic law) in the country, protecting the country’s highest interests, securing Afghanistan’s borders, and ensuring lasting peace, prosperity and development”.
All governance and life in the country will henceforth be in accordance with Islamic law, Akhund said.
“We want to have a peaceful, prosperous and self-reliant Afghanistan, for which we will strive to eliminate all causes of war and strife in the country, and [for] our countrymen to live in complete security and comfort.”
He also emphasised that the interim government will take “serious and effective steps” to protect human rights as well as the rights of minorities and underprivileged groups within the framework of the demands of Islam.
“All Afghans, without distinction or exception, will have the right to live with dignity and peace in their own country. Their lives, property and honor will be protected.”