Afghanistan: Taliban announces new government

The Taliban has announced that Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund will head the new government as acting Prime Minister. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Mullah Abdus Salam have been appointed as his deputies.

Presently, Mullah Hasan heads the Taliban’s powerful decision-making body—Rehbari Shura or leadership council— which works much like a government Cabinet running all the group’s affairs subject to the approval of the top leader.

The supreme leader, Maulvi Haibatullah Akhundzada, himself proposed Mullah Hasan’s name to head the new government, adding that the issues within the ranks of the Taliban regarding the formation of the government have been resolved.

Mullah Hasan belongs to Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, and was among the founders of the armed movement. He worked for 20 years as head of Rehbari Shura and remained close to Mullah Hebatullah. He had served as foreign minister and deputy prime minister during the Taliban’s previous government in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.

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