Afghanistan: Taliban appoint transitional government |

Status: 07.09.2021 7:27 p.m.

After they came to power in Afghanistan, the Taliban filled the first posts of a transitional government. The Islamists did not comply with the West’s demand that non-members also be entrusted with political functions.

Three weeks after taking power in Afghanistan, the radical Islamic Taliban have named the first members of a transitional government.

At the head of the interim government is Mullah Mohammed Hassan Achund, said Taliban spokesman Sabihullah Mujahid. Achund was already at the side of the late Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar and had led the Taliban government in Kabul, which was in power until 2001, for years. Most recently he was part of the leadership council of the Islamists, the Rahbari Shura, and is considered a close confidante of the Taliban leader Haibatullah Achundsada.

Vice Baradar negotiated with the Trump administration

His deputy should therefore be Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the previous deputy head of the Taliban. The second deputy is Maulawi Abdul Salam Hanafi, who most recently worked in the Taliban’s political office in Doha.

In this role, Baradar had negotiated with the previous US administration under President Donald Trump. The result was the so-called Doha Agreement, which was signed at the end of February. In the agreement, the Taliban undertook to negotiate peace with the now disempowered Afghan government, cut ties to terrorist organizations and, as far as possible, refrain from violence. In return, Trump had promised the Taliban the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar becomes deputy head of the interim government.

Image: AFP

US Secretary of the Interior classified as a terrorist

The Taliban appoint Sarajuddin Haqqani as interior minister. A choice that is likely to cause criticism from the United States in particular. Haqqani is the founder of the so-called Haqqani network, a militant Islamist organization that is classified by the United States as a terrorist militia. According to the profile published by the FBI, the US previously suspected that Haqqani is currently in Pakistan.

The post of defense minister will also be filled – by Mullah Mohammed Jakub, the son of the Taliban founder Mullah Mohammed Omar.

No change recognizable

The Taliban occupied a total of 33 posts in their transitional government. According to Taliban spokesman Mujahid, further posts should be announced “after long deliberation”. How long the transitional government should remain in office, the Taliban left open. In addition, they did not indicate that further positions should be filled by people who do not belong to the Taliban – a demand that the international community had made of the Islamists.

Even ARD correspondent Markus Spieker According to the transitional government, the change that the Taliban themselves had promised is missing. He describes Achund as a “religious hardliner”, partly responsible for the demolition of one and a half millennium old Buddha statues in Afghanistan in 2001.

His deputy is somewhat more moderate, but the cabinet posts that have been created reflect the Taliban’s previous radical line – for example in the “Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and for the Prevention of Vice” – from Spieker’s point of view nothing more than a kind of “religious police”.

Markus Spieker, MDR currently Kabul, on the establishment of the Taliban transitional government in Afghanistan

tagesschau24 6:00 p.m., 7.9.2021

Protests in Kabul

After conquering the Punjir province, the whole of Afghanistan is now under the control of the Taliban. Hundreds of men and women took to the streets in Kabul to protest against Pakistan. Many Afghans, including previous government representatives, express the conviction that the neighboring country supported the Taliban and helped them in their most recent military campaign, with which they forcibly took over the country. Islamabad denies this.

Taliban fighters fired warning shots and tried to control the demonstrators.

USA want to negotiate further evacuations

The US is in contact with the Taliban to negotiate further evacuations from. The aim is that further charter flights can safely leave the country, said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a visit to the Gulf emirate of Qatar. The Taliban have promised to let all those who have travel documents leave Afghanistan. “The international community is watching closely to see if the Taliban keep their promises.” Blinken travels to Germany after his stop in Qatar, where he plans to visit the US military base Ramstein in Rhineland-Palatinate.

The US Secretary of State praised Qatar’s role in evacuating tens of thousands of refugees from Afghanistan in recent weeks. Numerous countries have offered their help, said Blinken. “But no other country has done more than Qatar.” According to him, more than 58,000 Afghans and citizens of other countries have been flown to Qatar.

After the meeting with Blinken, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani was again optimistic that the airport in Kabul will be able to resume operations “very soon”. His country sent a technical assistance team to Afghanistan, he said. Charter flights could now land again. Now humanitarian aid flights should begin as a test. However, there is still no agreement with the Taliban on how the airport should be operated. Domestic flights have already resumed, according to the Taliban.

The UN is missing hundreds of millions of euros for aid to Afghanistan

The United Nations and its partners are still waiting for international funds to support millions of people in need in Afghanistan. By the end of the year, donors would have to provide 606 million US dollars (511 million euros) for humanitarian aid in the crisis-ridden country, the UN said. The spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid, Jens Laerke, expressed the hope that the UN could raise further funds at the international conference on Afghanistan next Monday in Geneva.

By the middle of last week, only 40 percent of the funds required for aid to Afghanistan in 2021 had been received by the UN. The UN and its aid agencies such as the World Food Program wanted to support the population even after the radical Islamist Taliban came to power in Afghanistan, the spokesman said. The UN repeatedly appealed to the Taliban to give aid workers unrestricted access to the people.

The extremists overthrew the old government in mid-August. According to the UN, around half of the 38 million inhabitants of Afghanistan are dependent on humanitarian aid in the form of food, water or medicine. About a third of the population does not know how to get the next meal.

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