Taliban inducts 2 dozen high-level officials for interim Afghan government
The Taliban on Tuesday announced more than two-dozen high-level officials, including ministers and deputy ministers, for its interim government in Afghanistan, the country's news agency Pajhwok Afghan News said.
The spokesperson for Afghanistan's interim government, Zabihullah Mujahid, said the the officials and the ministers have been inducted in compliance with orders from Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada.
The Afghan news agency reported that Maulvi Shahabuddin Delawar has been appointed as the acting minister of mines and petroleum while Mullah Mohammad Abbas Akhund has been given the role of acting minister of disaster management.
The list released by Zabihullah Mujahid, and accessed by Pajhwok Afghan News, show names of 25 others who have been appointed as deputy ministers, corps commanders and heads of independent departments, including acting director of prisons, deputy minister of border and tribal affairs and head of Kandahar airport.
The Taliban announced its caretaker government in September, weeks after taking over the capital Kabul in an effortless siege after ousting former President Ashraf Ghani.
While Mullah Hassan Akhund was named the prime minister in the 33-member interim government, Sirajuddin Haqqani, the son of the founder of the Haqqani network, was given the charge of the interior minister. He is one of the FBI's most wanted men due to his involvement in suicide attacks and ties with Al Qaeda.
Late last month, the Taliban urged the United States and other countries to recognise their government in Afghanistan, and said that the failure to do so and the continued freezing of Afghan funds abroad would “lead to problems not only for the country but for the world.”
Zabihullah Mujahid recalled that the reason the Taliban and the US went to war last time was also because the two did not have formal diplomatic ties.
No country has formally recognised the interim Taliban government in Afghanistan since the Islamist insurgents took over the war-torn country in August, following the collpase of the Ashraf Ghani-led government, while billions of dollars in Afghan assets and funds abroad have also been frozen, even as the country faces severe economic and humanitarian crises.
However, senior government officials from a number of countries have been meeting with the Taliban leadership both in Kabul and abroad to broker peace and aid deals.