Taliban govt remains non-inclusive and all-male after Sept 21 expansion

  • These ethnic minority communities have not been given any significant post and all inductions are unknown faces, with Haqqani and Baradar factions getting the major share of power pie.
Power of gun: The Taliban government is facing factional fighting from Haqqani ruling Kabul and Baradar dominant in Kandahar.
Power of gun: The Taliban government is facing factional fighting from Haqqani ruling Kabul and Baradar dominant in Kandahar.
Published on Sep 24, 2021 06:20 PM IST
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By Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Taliban recently announced a Cabinet expansion to showcase to the world that the Sunni Pashtun militants have opted for an inclusive government in the wake of repeated demand from the international community. While announcing the expansion, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid had claimed that the new Cabinet includes members of ethnic minorities such as Hazaras and Tajiks. But the reality is different.

These ethnic minority communities have not been given any significant post and all inductions are unknown faces, with Haqqani and Baradar factions getting the major share of power. The Islamist fundamentalists have not included a single woman in the Cabinet, which they had already indicated, but the Cabinet remains monopolistic even in terms of ethnic minorities. Formers presidents of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, have not been given any role in the new government.

New ministers like Qalandar Ibad, Abdul Bari Omar, Mohammad Hassan Ghiasi, Haji Gul Mohammad, Arsala Kharoti Lutfullah Khairkhwa belong to the Haqqani Network, which merged into the Taliban in 2016. Qalandar Ibad is their new health minister while all others are deputy ministers in various departments.

On the other hand, Mullah Mohammad Ibrahim, the new deputy minister of interior security, is a Pashtun from the Baradar faction. The deputy minister of defence Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir is also Pashtun and said to be a close aide of Mulla Yaqoob, the minister of defence in the Taliban set up. Nazar Mohammad Muttamin, who has been appointed as acting president of Afghanistan’s National Olympic Committee is again a Pashtun from Kandahar and belong to the Baradar faction.

Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Omar, deputy minister of power and energy; Mohammad Faqir, acting head of central statistics office; and Gul Zarin Kochi, second deputy minister of border affairs also belong to the Baradar faction.

The 50-member Cabinet includes just one representative from the Hazara community, three from Tajiks, and one from Uzbeks. Tajiks like Haji Ghulam Ghaus has been appointed as deputy minister of disaster management, while Haji Nooruddin Azizi, a resident of Panjshir Province has been appointed as acting minister of commerce. Haji Mohammad Bashir, another Tajik, has been appointed as the deputy minister of commerce. Haji Mohammad Azim Sultanzada is the only Uzbek in the new set-up.

Najibullah, the director of atomic energy; Mawlawi Abdul Rahman Rashed, minister of agriculture; Molavi Sad Razam, deputy minister of agriculture; and Mawlawi Ataullah Omari, deputy minister of agriculture, are also from the Taliban factions.

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Thursday, October 28, 2021