Taliban govt to take oath on 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks

Taliban’s key leaders. Photo: file   

KABUL: The Taliban-led Afghanistan’s interim government is all set to take oath on September 11, the same date when attacks took place on the World Trade Centre in the United States (US) 20 years ago.

The new Afghan government will be headed by Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund as prime minister while Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Maulvi Abdul Salam Hanafi were appointed deputy prime ministers, the Taliban had announced two days ago.

Russian officials will attend the ceremony while the Pakistan government has sent its warm wishes, said the sources.

The US and European Union (EU) have, however, expressed concern over members who will be a part of the interim government.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that the Taliban government includes people who are “wanted” by the US agencies. He said the Taliban will have to gain legal status from the world for some of the names in the new government.

Further, the Pakistani Foreign Office spokesperson has expressed hope that the new political arrangement in Afghanistan would ensure peace, stability and security.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal also added that Saudi Arabia is committed to helping the Afghan people. He said that the Saudi people will support whatever path Afghans choose, without any external interference.

The list for the interim government contains 33 names. Some of the key appointments are:

  • Taliban veteran, Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund – acting prime minister
  • Taliban co-founder, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar – acting deputy prime minister
  • Taliban negotiator in Doha, Amir Khan Muttaqi – acting foreign minister
  • Abas Stanikzai – acting deputy foreign minister
  • Son of Taliban founder and late supreme leader Mullah Omar, Mullah Yaqoob – acting defence minister
  • Leader of the feared Haqqani network, Sirajuddin Haqqani – acting interior minister

The Taliban spokesman has clarified that this is an “acting” government only.

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