Who are the key figures in the new Afghan government? – New


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The Taliban announced key acting ministerial positions on Tuesday. Here are some facts about the main dates:

mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund, Acting Prime Minister

Akhund is the longtime head of the Taliban’s powerful decision-making body, Rehbari Shura, or governing council. He was first Minister of Foreign Affairs, then Deputy Prime Minister during the Taliban’s last reign from 1996 to 2001.

He is from Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban. Akhund is well respected within the movement, especially by its supreme leader Haibatullah Akhundzada, a Taliban source said.

Akhund derives much of his prestige from his proximity to the movement’s first leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar.

Some observers see Akhund, who is believed to be in his 60s and possibly older, a political figure, with his control over the governing board also giving him a say in military affairs.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Acting Deputy Prime Minister

Baradar was once a close friend of Mullah Omar, who gave him his nom de guerre, “Baradar” or “brother”.

He was deputy defense minister when the Taliban last ruled Afghanistan. Baradar also served as a senior military commander.

He headed the Taliban political bureau in Doha, becoming one of the most important figures in peace talks with the United States.

mullah Amir Khan Muttaqi, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs

Originally from Paktia, Muttaqi calls himself a resident of Helmand.

Muttaqi was Minister of Culture and Information under the previous Taliban government, as well as Minister of Education. Muttaqi then traveled to Qatar and was appointed a member of the peace commission and negotiating team which held talks with the United States.

He chairs the Invitation and Orientation Commission.

Mollah Yaoob, Acting Minister of Defense

Son of the founder of the Taliban, Mullah Omar, Yaqoob had initially sought to succeed his father in 2015. He left the council meeting that appointed his father’s successor, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, but eventually reconciled.

Still in his early thirties and without the long combat experience of the main Taliban commanders, he commands the loyalty of part of the movement in Kandahar because of the prestige of his father’s name.

He was appointed chief general of the Taliban military commission last year, overseeing all military operations in Afghanistan and was one of three deputy chiefs, along with Baradar and Sirajuddin Haqqani.

Sirajuddin Haqqani, Acting Minister of the Interior

As head of the influential Haqqani network, Sirajuddin Haqqani succeeded him after the death of his father, Jalaluddin Haqqani, in 2018.

The semi-autonomous group has been blamed for some of the deadliest attacks on the forces.

Zabihullah Mujahid, Dep. Minister of Information

Longtime Taliban spokesman Mujahid has been the main channel for reporting on the group’s activities for more than a decade, regularly posting details of the attacks through his Twitter account.

No photo of him existed until he gave his first press conference after the fall of Kabul last month.



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About Tammy N. McFarlane

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