What Do We Know About New Taliban-Appointed Key Acting Gov't Members in Afghanistan?
On Tuesday, the Taliban revealed a list of people who would assume the positions of acting ministers in the newly-announced Afghan government - which has not yet been recognised by other countries.
While the United Nations has lambasted the newly-announced government for not being "inclusive", as the Taliban had earlier promised, the group noted that the government is interim.
It was not clarified how long the acting ministers will serve. Here is a closer look at who the key members of the interim government are.
Acting Prime Minister Mullah Hassan Akhund
Mullah Hassan Akhund heads the Taliban leadership council and Rehbari Shura movement, and he served as foreign minister and deputy prime minister of Afghanistan while the country was controlled by the terrorist group until 2001, when the United States invaded the country.
Akhund, who is one of the founders of the Taliban, has been included in the United Nations sanctions list since January 2021.
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (also on the UN terror list) was made Akhund's first deputy. Baradar is a co-founder of the militant movement and is considered to be a de facto leader of the Taliban.
Mawlavi Hannafi, who enjoys less attention in the Western media, was appointed Akhund's second deputy.
© REUTERS / SOCIAL MEDIAMullah Baradar Akhund, a senior official of the Taliban, makes a video statement, in a still image taken from a video recorded in an unidentified location and released on August 16, 2021
Mullah Baradar Akhund, a senior official of the Taliban, makes a video statement, in a still image taken from a video recorded in an unidentified location and released on August 16, 2021
© REUTERS / SOCIAL MEDIA
Acting Minister of Defence Mullah Yaqoob (Mohammad Yaqoob)
Mullah Yaqoob is the eldest son of Mohammed Omar, who was a mujahideen commander and founder of the Taliban movement.
In 2016, he was appointed to lead the military commission in 15 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces, becoming the movement's military chief in May 2020.
Considered to be a "moderate", Yaqoob supported a negotiated settlement of the Afghan war.
Acting Minister of Interior Serajuddin Haqqani
Haqqani is one of the Taliban's military leaders who oversaw armed combat against American and coalition forces.
He was reportedly targeted in a US drone strike in February 2010, but survived, and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation offered a $5 million reward for information leading to Sirajuddin Haqqani's capture.
Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi
Amir Khan Muttaqi is a senior leader of the Taliban, who was also a part of the negotiation team in peace talks with then-US President Donald Trump in Qatar last year.
According to some reports, in August 2021, just after the Afghan capital was seized by the Taliban, Muttaqi was in Kabul discussing the formation of a government with non-Taliban politicians.
Acting Minister of Economy Qari Din Hanif
Din Hanif, who is reportedly of Tajik descent, is believed to be one of the few non-Pashtuns in the Taliban leadership.
He served as minister of planning and minister of higher education prior to the fall of Kabul in 2001. Din Hanif is also a member of the negotiation team in Qatar and a member of the Taliban Supreme Council.
Acting Director of Intelligence Abdul Haq Wasiq
Haq Wasiq, who earlier served as the Taliban's deputy minister of intelligence, was held in extrajudicial detention at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba.
He was released from Guantanamo in 2014 along with four other members of the Taliban, with their release occurring at the same time as the release of captured American soldier Bowe Bergdahl. The deal was mediated by the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.