Obscure figures appointed in Afghanistan’s intelligence, security posts

Advertisement

Zakir is a former senior commander of the Taliban, who has been appointed Afghanistan’s Acting Defense Minister…reports Asian Lite News

A week after the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, a number of obscure figures have been appointed to senior security and intelligence positions by the terrorist group.

According to IntelNews, some of the names of senior officials have been made public by news agencies in the Middle East while others were publicized by local media on Tuesday. Abdul Qayyum, known as “Zakir”, is arguably the most notable of those appointed to senior positions by the Taliban.

Zakir is a former senior commander of the Taliban, who has been appointed Afghanistan’s Acting Defense Minister. He was a former Guantanamo detainee and is seen as an ally of the leaders of the Haqqani network, a Taliban sub-set, which has close ties with foreign jihadist outfits.

Zakir is well known to Pakistan’s ISI, which is believed to have arranged for his quick release from custody after being arrested in 2010 in Pakistan’s Balochistan.

Another unknown appointee is a Taliban commander “Najibullah”, head of Afghanistan’s intelligence agency. According to InterNews, no other information about him was provided in the statement.

Apart from Zakir and Najibullah, other appointees too are largely unknown figures to Western observers. Meanwhile, the Taliban have said that religious scholars will lead the upcoming government in Afghanistan.

At a gathering in Kabul earlier this week, the Taliban said that their 20 years of struggle should not go in vain and religious scholars should take the lead and be the core of the upcoming government in Afghanistan.

The terror group had invited tens of religious scholars in a grand gathering to ask their cooperation in forging a sound political system and inviting people to support the future government, Khaama Press reported.

Last week, the terror group entered the presidential palace in Kabul soon after president Ashraf Ghani fled the Afghan capital. The Taliban announced the end of the war and gave general amnesty to everyone. However, Kabul is witnessing heavy chaos as a large number of people are approaching the Hamid Karzai International Airport in a bid to flee the country.

Meanwhile, admitting that women are not safe in the present Taliban regime, the outfit directed Afghan women to work from home.

Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said at a news conference that women should not go to work for their own safety, undermining the group’s efforts to convince international observers that the group would be more tolerant towards women than when they were last in power, reported CNN.

As per Mujahid, the measure was necessary because the Taliban “keep changing and are not trained.”

When last in power between 1996 and 2001 the militant group banned women from the workplace, stopped them from leaving the home unaccompanied and forced them to cover their entire bodies.

The direction came after the World Bank halted funding in Afghanistan, citing concerns about the safety of women, and within hours of the UN calling for a “transparent and prompt investigation” into reports of human rights abuses since the Taliban takeover, dealing another blow to an economy that relies heavily on foreign aid, reported CNN.

Meanwhile, the Taliban promised its new era will be more moderate, but Taliban leaders have refused to guarantee women’s rights will not be stripped back and many have already faced violence. (ANI)

ALSO READ: Taliban issue ‘death warrant’ for Afghan woman divorcee residing in India