Taliban to name Hibatullah Akhundzada as government head; announcement soon
The Taliban has said that the discussions on forming a new government are finalized and a formal announcement of the same will be made soon. The Taliban's top leader, Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada, will reportedly be the head of the new government in Afghanistan. The development comes mere days after the United States completed the withdrawal of its troops, ending its two-decade-long 'War on Terror.'
'Consultations finalized, new government will be model for people'
The Taliban's leader Anamullah Samangani said consultations on new government and cabinet are almost finalized. The Islamic government will be a model for the people, he said, adding, "He (Akhunzada) will be the leader of the government."
PM, President to be under Akhundzada: Reports
While there is little clarity about the governance structure, some reports said there will also be a Prime Minister and a President post under Akhundzada. An analyst said the new system will neither be republic nor emirate but will be like an Islamic government. "Hibatullah will be the leader of Afghanistan...Below him...there will be a PM or President that will work under his oversight."
Who is Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada?
Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada is the supreme leader of the Taliban. He had never made any public appearance and has stayed away from the public eye. Akhundzada was appointed the leader of the Taliban after a US drone strike killed his predecessor, Mullah Mansour Akhtar, in 2016. He was tasked with the challenge of unifying the group after it briefly splintered following Akhtar's assassination.
Taliban appoints police chiefs, governors, mayors
Separately, the Taliban has also appointed police chiefs across Afghanistan's 34 provinces, acting government ministers, nearly all provincial governors, and mayors of several cities. "The Islamic Emirate is active in each province. There is a governor in each province...There is a district governor for each district and...police chief in each province," a Taliban member said. The Taliban had maintained that these appointments are temporary.
Uncertainty looms large over Afghanistan since Taliban seized power
Since the Taliban's takeover, uncertainty looms large over Afghanistan as many educated and capable Afghans fled the country, fearing reprisals. Due to the lack of manpower, the Taliban has also been grappling to keep the government machinery running. With soaring prices of daily essentials, Afghans are struggling to make ends meet with no jobs, earnings, or cash in hand.
Taliban promised an 'inclusive' government
After seizing power, the Taliban held discussions with Afghan politicians to form an "inclusive government" in the country. It was also reported earlier that the Taliban's "inclusive caretaker government" will include leaders from all ethnicities and tribal backgrounds. While the Taliban claims consultations on government formation are finalized, public discussions have not been held over the system's name, the national flag, or national anthem.
What is happening in Afghanistan?
It has been over two weeks since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan. The Taliban's military victory came after the Taliban and Washington signed a peace deal last year, under which the US decided to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. Soon after the Taliban took over the country, several Afghans fled the country, fearing reprisals, and the return of harsh Islamic rule.