Kolkata, India: Hardliner Islamic group Taliban announced Tuesday, it has formed an interim government and declared Afghanistan as an Islamic Emirate.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid stressed that the positions were just temporary but didn’t indicate how long they’d be in charge or what might trigger a change.
The announcement came after weeks of delay in announcing a government after the group seized Afghan capital Kabul on August 15 from a US-led coalition government.
The declaration also came just hours after the Taliban shot their weapons into the air to disperse protestors in Kabul’s capital and arrested several journalists, marking the second time in less than a week that harsh measures were employed to disperse a demonstration.
Who are in the new Taliban regime?
Several veterans of the Taliban’s infamous regime in Afghanistan during the 1990s-2001 were given prominent roles in the new interim government.
The formation had no women representations, despite the promise.
The newly announced regimen also does not have any representation from Afghanistan’s dominant ethnic Pashtun community.
The move, as many media reported, is unlikely to fetch the Taliban global political support, especially from the Western-backed nations.
Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is on the FBI’s most-wanted list with a $5 million bounty on his head and is believed to still be keeping at least one American captive, was appointed to the critical role of interior minister.
He was the leader of the infamous Haqqani network, which is responsible for numerous deadly attacks and kidnappings, the Associated Press reported.
A policy statement was issued in conjunction with the Cabinet announcement and it apparently attempted to assuage the anxieties of Afghanistan’s neighbors and the rest of the world.
However, the AP noted, it was unlikely to resolve the fears of women, who were denied a single appointment in the so-called interim cabinet.
The statement continued, “Our message to our neighbors, the region and the world is that Afghanistan’s soil will not be used against the security of any other country.”
Foreign ambassadors, embassies, consulates, and humanitarian groups were urged to return to Afghanistan, according to the statement. It stated, “Their existence is a necessity for our country.”
War-whacked, impoverished, and on-verge-of-collapse, an already-unstable Afghanistan further appeared to plunge into a crisis following the Taliban coup.
The international community contributes up to 80% of Afghanistan’s budget, and the country’s long-running economic problems have been exacerbated in recent months.
Humanitarian aid is delivered on a near-daily basis from Qatar, but the needs are enormous, and the Taliban cannot afford to be isolated.
Following the Taliban’s lightning-fast accession of the political center, the US quickly froze billions of dollars worth of liquid cash in Afghanistan’s US bank accounts.
United Nations chief Antonio Guterres warned of a looming “humanitarian catastrophe” in Afghanistan as he urged countries to provide emergency funding following the departure of US forces.
Guterres expressed his “grave concern at the deepening humanitarian and economic crisis in the country,” adding that basic services threatened to collapse “completely.”
“Now more than ever, Afghan children, women, and men need the support and solidarity of the international community,” he said in a statement, as he pleaded for financial support from nations.