Interim Afghan govt throws up more questions than answers


It is pertinent to mention here that the cabinet and the interim setup announced by the Taliban comprises mostly Pashtun ethnic group…reports Hamza Ameer

The Afghan Taliban announced an interim-government setup on Tuesday, listing the newly-appointed cabinet of ministers comprising veteran old guards from their previous tenure in the 1990s.

Among the top leadership, Mullah Muhammad Hasan Akhund has appointed as the caretaker Prime Minister of Afghanistan with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar as his deputy.

Interestingly, the list of ministers also include veteran Taliban leader Sirajuddin Haqqani, who has been given the important Interior Ministry. Sirajuddin Haqqani is on the FBI’s most wanted list with a bounty of $5 million on his head. Haqqani headed the widely feared Haqqani network of the Taliban and has been accused of many deadly attacks and kidnappings in the past.

It is pertinent to mention here that the cabinet and the interim setup announced by the Taliban comprises mostly Pashtun ethnic group, which is expected to be another issue that would become a hurdle in seeking international support for the Taliban.

There are many factors in the interim setup that may inject uncertainty and distrust among the international community, which is looking towards the Taliban to walk the talks and fulfil their commitment of an inclusive government in Afghanistan.

However, it seems that the Taliban have opted to stick to their top leadership and old guards to take over control of the country, as they look towards immediate inflow of aids and funds to help Afghanistan weather the cited economic and humanitarian meltdown.

It should be noted that about 80 per cent of Afghanistan’s budget comes from foreign aids. At the moment, flights from Qatar are landing in Kabul on a daily basis with aid supplies. However, the immediate needs are much more and the country needs immediate aid from the global community.

The United Nations (UN) has estimated about $660 million as immediate relief aid, needed on urgent basis to cater to the desperate needs of Afghanistan for at least four months.

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan is being seen with focused concern as reservations over the newly-elected interim government in Afghanistan has raised eyebrows.

“The world is watching closely,” read a statement issued by the US State Department, expressing concerns over the selection of cabinet members being only Taliban.

(Image Source ANI)

The US State Department has expressed its reservations over no female representation in the Taliban-led interim government in Afghanistan, along with personalities like Sirajuddin Haqqani, who what they call has a troubling track record.

“The administration would be judged by its actions,” the US State Department statement added.

As far as the appointment of Haqqani is concerned as the country’s top cop, it is also believed that the Haqqani group still holds a US civilian contractor Mark Frerichs in its custody. Frerichs was abducted in January 2020.

Even though the interim government led by the Taliban leadership is dominated by ethnic Pushtuns, inclusivity and representation of other ethnic groups may have been catered by some ranks of the cabinet, which have been given to ethnic Tajik and Uzbeks.

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