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Taliban unveil caretaker government in Afghanistan

A day after capturing Panjshir valley and completing their takeover of the entire country, the Taliban have announced key positions for the new caretaker government in Afghanistan just three weeks after a chaotic US troops pullout.

Addressing a press conference in Kabul on Tuesday, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said that the new interim government will be led by Mullah Hassan Akhund — head of state. 

Mullah Akhund, who belongs to Kandahar province, had already served as deputy foreign minister, deputy prime minister and the governor of Kandahar under the Taliban’s old regime. He was also a close aide of the late Taliban founder Mullah Omar.

Akhund is on a UN blacklist.

Mullah Hassan Akhund. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Mullah Baradar, the head of the Taliban’s political office, has been appointed as the first deputy or interim prime minister while Mawlavi Hannafi will be the second deputy of the head of state.

Fazel Akhund has been named chief of the Afghan armed forces and Mullah Yaqoub, son of the movement’s late founder, will be the acting defence minister, Mujahid announced.

The Afghan Taliban named Sirajuddin Haqqani, leader of the powerful Haqqani Network, as the acting interior minister.

Mawlavi Amir Khan Muttaqi will serve as foreign minister in the interim cabinet while Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai will be his deputy.

All the appointments are in an acting capacity, Mujahid told a news conference in Kabul.

Following their 20-year fighting, the Taliban now face the colossal task of ruling Afghanistan, which is wracked with economic woes and security challenges – including from the Islamic State, also known as Da’ish, group’s local chapter.

Scattered protests in recent days have indicated that some Afghans are sceptical of the Taliban’s capacity to translate their promise of a more moderate rule into reality.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Taliban had reiterated a pledge to allow Afghans to freely depart Afghanistan.

The Taliban told the United States that “they will let people with travel documents freely depart”, Blinken said at a news conference in Doha, where he and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin met their Qatari opposite numbers. 

US President Joe Biden has faced mounting pressure amid reports that several hundred people, including Americans, have been prevented for a week from flying out of an airport in northern Afghanistan.

Also read: Afghanistan: key regional role

On Monday, the Taliban spokesperson said that they had taken complete control of Panjshir province, the last area in Afghanistan being held by resistance forces.

There was no immediate word from Ahmad Massoud, the leader of the opposition group resisting Taliban forces.

Mujahid informed of the victory in Panjshir in a tweet, stating that, “The last stronghold of the mercenary enemy, Panjshir province, was completely conquered.”

According to reports, Taliban fighters could not win complete victory in Panjshir, hence, the Badri Bridge was called in along with suicide attackers break the Panjshiri defensive lines.

It is after 43 years that the Massoud family has lost control of this remote valley.

The Taliban took control of the rest of Afghanistan three weeks ago, taking power in Kabul on August 15 after the Western-backed government collapsed and president Ashraf Ghani fled the country.

Statement of the Leadership Office regarding policies of Islamic Emirate following announcement of new Islamic government and cabinet

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
الحمد لله الذي هدانا لدينه القويم، ومنّ علينا ببعثة النبي الكريم، وهدانا به إلى الصراط المستقيم، و اشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له ، و اشهد أن سيدنا محمداً عبده ورسوله. اللهم صل وسلم على عبدك ورسولك محمد، وعلى آله وصحبه، والتابعين ومن تبعهم باحسان الی یوم الدین. امابعد: 
قال الله تبارک وتعالی: وعتصمو بحبل الله جمیعا ولا تفرقو . . . الایة

Dear compatriots:
May Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon you! On the 23/01/1443 Hijri Lunar corresponding with 09/06/1400 Hijri Solar and 30/08/2021 Gregorian the last foreign forces left Afghanistan. First and foremost, I congratulate our suffering and proud nation on withdrawal of all foreign forces, end of the occupation, and complete liberation of the country. May Allah Almighty grant this country lasting peace, prosperity and success!

We pray for paradise for all the martyrs, healing for the wounded and disabled in the last 20 years of jihadi struggle for the freedom and establishment of the Islamic system, wish a great reward from the court of Allah Almighty to the imprisoned and all the suffering countrymen as well as patience to the bereaved families.

The great determination, adherence,  acumen and tireless efforts of late Amir-ul-Mumineen Mullah Mohammad Omar Muhahid (may Allah have mercy upon him), the founder of the Islamic Emirate, and impeccable strategy, organizational skills and sacrifice of the martyred Amir-ul-Mumineen Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor (may Allah have mercy on him) were beacons for Mujahideen and the best foundation for heroes to travel and reach their goal.

Achievements of these two leaders and all the epics and sacrifices by all the heroic figured of this proud history will be written in golden lines in the pages of history and all Muslims will be proud of them.

Islamic Emirate will do its utmost to fulfil their aspirations.

During this holy Jihad, I would like to thank all the Muslims who have helped the Mujahideen in various parts.

As a caretaker and committed cabinet has been announced by the authorities of the Islamic Emirate to control and run the affairs of the country which will start functioning at the earliest, I assure all the countrymen that The figures will work hard towards upholding Islamic rules and Sharia law in the country, protecting the country’s highest interests, securing Afghanistan’s borders, and to ensuring lasting peace, prosperity and development. God willing

– Our previous twenty years of struggle and Jihad had had two major goals. Firstly to end foreign occupation and aggression and to liberate the country, and secondly to establish a complete, independent, stable and central Islamic system in the country.

Based on this principle, in the future, all matters of governance and life in Afghanistan will be regulated by the laws of the Holy Sharia.

– We want to have a peaceful, prosperous, and self-reliant Afghanistan, for which we will strive to eliminate all causes of war and strife in the country, and our countrymen to live in complete security and comfort.

– We want strong and healthy relations with our neighbors and all other countries based on mutual respect and interaction. Our relations with those countries will be based on the highest interests and benefits of Afghanistan. We are committed to all international laws and treaties, resolutions and commitments that are not in conflict with Islamic law and the country’s national values. We also call on the countries of the world to value building strong and cordial political, diplomatic and good relations with us and to also cooperate with us. 

– The Islamic Emirate will take serious and effective steps towards protecting human rights, the rights of minorities as well as the rights of the underprivileged groups within the framework of the demands of the sacred religion of Islam.

All Afghans, without distinction or exception, will have the right to live with dignity and peace in their own country, their lives, property and honor will be protected. The Islamic Emirate will strive to protect the Islamic rights of every individual and will provide a safe and comfortable environment for them inside their country.

– Education is one of the most important requirements of the country. Our government will have a duty to provide a healthy and safe environment for religious and modern sciences to all countrymen within the framework of Sharia.

We will pave the way for the country’s development in the field of education and build our country with knowledge and understanding.

– We all know that our country has been suffering from war and economic crisis for more than 40 years. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan will use all its resources for economic strength, prosperity and development on top of strengthening security. It will manage domestic revenue properly and transparently, provide special opportunities for international investment and various sectors of trade, will work to fight unemployment effectively. Our ultimate goal will be to get our country back on its feet as quickly as possible, and efficiently perform reconstruction and rehabilitation work in our war-torn country, God willing.

– The Islamic Emirate wants Afghanistan to develop as soon as possible and to provide the necessary facilities to its people in all walks of life, and to eradicate poverty and unemployment. For this task, we ask for help and support of all national businessmen, investors and sensible Afghans who can help uplift Afghanistan out of poverty, strengthen our economy, safeguard our national wealth and use our public treasury as fit to serve the nation.

– Media is an important element of the country. We will work for the freedom, functioning and improvement of the media quality. We consider it our duty to take into account the sacred precepts of Islam, the national interests of the country and impartiality in our broadcasts.

– Our message to our neighbors, the region and the world is that Afghanistan’s soil will not be used against the security of any other country. We assure all that there is no concern from Afghanistan and we expect from them the same.

-We assure all foreign diplomats, embassies, consulates, humanitarian organizations and investors in the country that they will not face any problem. The Islamic Emirate is doing its best for their complete security and safety. Their presence is need of our country, so they should carry out their work with a peace of mind.

– We do not want enmity with anyone. Afghanistan is the common home of all. We will respect all their rights and legitimate aspirations and use their potential to rebuild the country.

– No one should be worried about the future. The Islamic Emirate, on behalf of its people, is aware of all the problems that our people are facing. Our first attempt and priority is to solve all the problems through legitimate and reasonable means. We are confident that the common people will continue supporting the Islamic Emirate as always. The actions of those scholars, tribal elders and elders are commendable who have raised and are raising awareness among the masses.

The people have a great role to play in maintaining and strengthening the system. The Islamic Emirate needs continued support of its people to rebuild the ruined country together and live in peace and prosperity under the shade of an Islamic system.

– All talented and professional people, scholars, professors, doctors, scientists, engineers and educated cadres, national businessmen and investors should be fully assured that the Islamic Emirate will value them. Our country desperately needs their talents, guidance and work.

Similarly, people should not try to leave the country. The Islamic Emirate has no problem with anyone. All will take part in strengthening the system and Afghanistan and in this way, we will rebuild our war-torn country. The Islamic Emirate assures everyone in this regard.

– The protection and maintenance of the public treasury demands the most attention from all of us, especially, military vehicles, weapons, ammunition, government buildings, national property and all things related to the public treasury are the trust of this nation. No one is allowed to destroy, waste or take possession of it without permission of the relevant authorities.

Wasalam

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