Taliban’s new Islamic government will be led by Mullah Akhund

Mohammad Hasan Akhund.

The Taliban has announced a new Islamic caretaker government in Afghanistan led by Mohammad Hasan Akhund.

Mullah Akhund is the longtime head of the Taliban’s powerful leadership council and was previously the foreign minister and then deputy prime minister during the Taliban’s last stint in power from 1996-2001.

He derives much of his prestige from his proximity to the movement’s first leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, and is respected by Taliban supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhunzada,

Akhund, who is on a UN sanctions list, hails from Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban. He is thought to be in his mid 60s or possibly older.

Abdul Ghani Baradar, the head of the Taliban’s political office, will be the deputy leader while Sirajuddin Haqqani has been named as interior minister.

Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, son of Taliban founder Mullah Omar, has been named as defence minister. Hedayatullah Badri will be the acting minister of finance, while Amir Khan Muttaqi, a Taliban negotiator in Doha, was named foreign minister.

“The Islamic Emirate decided to appoint and announce a caretaker cabinet to carry out the necessary government works,” said Mujahid, who named 33 members of “the new Islamic government” and said the remaining posts will be announced after careful deliberation.

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Mujahid stressed the cabinet was an “acting” government and that the group will “try to take people from other parts of the country.”

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