No women: US ‘concerned’ over Taliban govt led by UN-blacklisted Akhundzada

Published on Sep 08, 2021 02:54 PM IST

As Taliban announce an interim government with a few wanted, blacklisted ‘terrorist’ as their top leaders, the United States said it is concerned. 

A member of the Taliban forces points his gun at protesters, as Afghan demonstrators shout slogans during an anti-Pakistan protest.(REUTERS)
A member of the Taliban forces points his gun at protesters, as Afghan demonstrators shout slogans during an anti-Pakistan protest.(REUTERS)
By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

The United States is concerned over the track record of some of the cabinet members who will now govern Afghanistan under the new Taliban rule. A state department spokesperson explained that the concerns are mainly because of two reasons. One, the past and the affiliations of some of the individuals and second, the overall nature of the cabinet as it is not inclusive at all. The cabinet also includes no women members.

"We note the announced list of names consists exclusively of individuals who are members of the Taliban or their close associates and no women. We also are concerned by the affiliations and track records of some of the individuals," the statement issued by the US state department said.

Also Read | Inside look at Taliban all-male cabinet: Minister wanted by FBI, with a bounty on his head

Reiterating that the US will judge the Taliban by their action and not words, the US said that the world is watching closely. "We also reiterate our clear expectation that the Taliban ensure that Afghan soil is not used to threaten any other countries," the statement said.

Track record of Akhundzada and Sirajuddin Haqqani

Akhundzada, who will head the interim government in Afghanistan, is on the blacklist. Afghanistan's interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani is wanted by the FBI. The cabinet was announced by the Taliban on Tuesday after the announcement was delayed on previous occasions owing to some ongoing negotiation between the Taliban and the Haqqani network, believed to be mediated by the Pakistan ISI chief.

New government begins work

Many protests are going on in several cities of the country as the cabinet is not an inclusive one. Hundreds protested on Tuesday, both in the capital and in the city of Herat, where two people at the demonstration site were shot dead. "We will try to take people from other parts of the country," spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said, adding that it was an interim government. However, there was no promise to include women. Akhundzada has released a statement saying that the new government would "work hard towards upholding Islamic rules and sharia law".

Even Qatar buys time to recognise Taliban government in Afghanistan

"They have shown a great deal of pragmatism. Let's seize the opportunities there... and look at their public actions," said Qatari Assistant Foreign Minister Khater, who stopped short of announcing formal recognition of Afghanistan's new rulers.

(With agency inputs

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