Kabul – Mujahid said it included members of ethnic minorities, and women could be added later.
The Taliban announced a list of deputy ministers on Tuesday, without naming any women, despite an international outcry when they introduced their all-male cabinet ministers earlier this month.
The list was presented by government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid at a new conference in the Afghan capital, Kabul.
The list of deputy ministers indicates that the Taliban have not been swayed by international criticism and are doubling down on their current hard line despite initial promises of inclusion and respect for women’s rights.
The international community has warned that it will judge the Taliban on their actions and that recognition of a Taliban-led government would be tied to the treatment of women and minorities. During their previous rule over Afghanistan in the late 1990s, the Taliban denied girls and women access to school, work and public life.
The Taliban presented their current cabinet as an interim government, suggesting that change was still possible, but they did not say whether there would be election day.
Responding to questions, Mujahid defended the enlarged cabinet membership, saying it included members of ethnic minorities, such as the Hazaras, and that women could be added later.