The Taliban announced its new all-male caretaker government on Tuesday, Sept. 7, and the top positions were granted to members with concerning profiles.
Despite promises to be inclusive, the new leadership was emptied of elites from the ousted government, including women, per Reuters.
The newly named prime minister, Mullah Hasan Akhund was a founding member of the Islamist group, who had a close relationship with its founder one-eyed Mullah Mohammed Omar.
His name is under U.N. sanctions for working as a foreign minister and then deputy prime minister when the Taliban took control in the 1990s.
Abdul Ghani Baradar, one of the co-founders of the group, has been appointed as Akhund’s deputy. He was a Guantanamo detainee between 2010 and 2018.
Then the new interior minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, whose name is on the most wanted list in Washington for being the son of the founder of the terrorist group Haqqani. Reuters said the FBI had hunted him since his involvement in suicide attacks and affiliations to Al Qaeda.
BBC reported that the Haqqani network was accused of launching the Sept. 12, 2011 attack on the U.S. embassy and nearby Nato bases in Kabul, which killed four police officers and four civilians.
Other posts for the new government include Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, eldest son of Mullah Omar as the defense minister, and Mawlawi Amir Khan Mutaqi, who participated in U.S. withdrawal talks, as foreign minister.
Speaking of the new cabinet for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, a law professor at the American University of Afghanistan told the Guardian that it was meant to avoid “internal fractures.”
“It won’t help with domestic legitimacy, it won’t help with international recognition, it will not help ease the resistance, and they will not help government run more smoothly,” said professor Haroun Rahimi.
“So I have to conclude that the only reason they chose this kind of makeup was to make sure there will be no internal fractures,” he observed.
With apparently sole Taliban ranks in the cabinet, spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid reassured that more inclusive posts were being considered.
“Some ministries and deputies and many top positions are remaining,” Mujahid said. “We will try to include people from across the country into it. It’s not a permanent cabinet and we will try to make it more inclusive.”
The U.S. State Department had voiced their acknowledgment of the new interim government.
“We note the announced list of names consists exclusively of individuals who are members of the Taliban or their close associates and no women,” a spokesperson for the State Department said in a statement. “We also are concerned by the affiliations and track records of some of the individuals.”
“We understand that the Taliban has presented this as a caretaker cabinet. However, we will judge the Taliban by its actions, not words,” he added.