Wanted Terrorists In, Women Out Of New 'Emirate' Government
The US State Department said: “We note the announced list of names consists exclusively of individuals who are members of the Taliban or their close associates and no women. We also are concerned by the affiliations and track records of some of the individuals”.
On Tuesday, the Taliban had issued a list of 33 ‘leaders’ of the new government. According to that, Mullah Yakub has been appointed as Defence Minister, and Sirajuddin Haqqani will be the Home Minister. Haqqani is on the Wanted List of the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Sirajuddin Haqqani is also the founder of the Haqqani network which has been designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. The newly appointed Defence Minister Mullah Yakub is the son of Taliban founder Mullah Umar. He was a minister in the previous Taliban government of 1996-2001 along with current PM Ankhud as a governor. Amir Khan Mutaqqi is the new Defence Minister of the interim Taliban government. Along with him, two education ministers have also been inducted into the Taliban cabinet. Sheikh Maulavi Nurullah Muniri is the education minister while Abdul Baki Haqqani will hold the post of higher education minister. The group has not clarified the exact role of Taliban head Mullah Haibatullah Akhundazada. The Taliban supremo has not appeared publicly since a long time. Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s spokesperson, said to media that “this is a temporary system meant to handle the work of the government” and that the Shura (council of ministers) is undertaking governance temporarily, in a caretaking capacity, until it is decided how the people will participate in the government. Even if the current Taliban administration is “temporary”, it is held that it is a significant step towards constituting a permanent government in Afghanistan. It is unlikely that elections will hold any meaning in the newly declared ‘Islamic Emirate’ of Afghanistan Global Reactions The response from the international community on these developments have been tinged with apprehension and caution, possibly with the exception of China. Given the history of violent ‘governance’ of the group as well as its terror activities until the recent past, the State Department of the US has issued this statement: “We note the announced list of names consists exclusively of individuals who are members of the Taliban or their close associates and no women. We also are concerned by the affiliations and track records of some of the individuals”. It reiterated again that it will “judge the Taliban by their actions, not words”. Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdoga told media in the Democratic Republic of Congo that “We don’t know how long this interim cabinet will last. All we have to do is to follow this process carefully”. China, however, welcomed the formation of the interim government in Afghanistan, saying that it has “ended 3 weeks of anarchy” and called for the Taliban to restore order. “China attaches great importance to the announcement by the Taliban of the establishment of an interim government and some important personnel arrangements”. China has been one of the earliest countries to proactively make overtures to the Taliban regime following their takeover. The UN’s Women agency, through its head Pramila Patten, has criticized the absence of women in the government, which along with democratic representation of other political and ethnic Afghani groups was one of the main “expectations” of the West from the Taliban: ““by excluding women from the machinery of government the Taliban leadership has sent the wrong signal about their stated goal of building an inclusive, strong and prosperous society”. The European Union has expressed disappointment with the caretaker cabinet, saying “it does not look like the inclusive and representative formation in terms of the rich ethnic and religious diversity of Afghanistan we hoped to see and that the Taliban were promising over the past weeks”. The United Nations, however, said that recognizing governments is up to member states and that only a peaceful transition and humanitarian assistance were within its purview.