Peshawar: Finally the Taliban has formed the government to run Afghanistan. The government will be headed by Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund. He is the chief of the Taliban’s powerful decision-making body ‘Rehbari Shura’ and has been named as Afghanistan’s new head of state. The announcement was made by the insurgent group’s top leader Mullah Hebatullah Akhundzada, according to a Pakistani media report.
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Chairman of Taliban’s Political Office in Doha, and Mullah Abdus Salam will work as deputies of Mullah Hasan in the new Taliban government. The entire list of officials is likely to be announced next week, ‘The News International’ reported, citing multiple sources.
‘Rehbari Shura’ or leadership council serves much like a government Cabinet. It runs all the group’s affairs subject to the approval of top leader Mullah Hassan.
Mullah Hebatullah himself proposed Mullah Hassan’s name to head the government, the paper said. It added that the issues within ranks of the Taliban regarding the formation of the government have been resolved.
According to the paper, Mullah Hassan belongs to Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban. He was one of the founders of the armed movement. He worked for 20 years as head of ‘Rehbari Shura’ and remained close to Mullah Hebatullah. He had served as foreign minister and deputy prime minister during the Taliban’s previous government in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.
Mulla Yaqoob, son of the Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar, will be the new defence minister, the paper said. Yaqoob was a student of Mullah Hebatullah, who had earlier appointed him as head of the powerful military commission of the Taliban.
Sirajuddin Haqqani, the head of the notorious Haqqani network and son of the famous anti-Soviet warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani, is likely to get the portfolio of interior minister, while Mullah Ameer Khan Muttaqi will be the new foreign minister, according to the Taliban sources.
Haqqani is a specially designated global terrorist. According to the FBI website, the US Department of State is offering a reward of up to USD 5 million for information leading directly to the arrest of Sirajuddin, who is thought to stay in Pakistan, specifically the Miram Shah area in North Waziristan, and maintains close ties to the Taliban and al Qaeda.
Haqqani is wanted for questioning in connection with the January 2008 attack on a hotel in Kabul that killed six people, including an American citizen. He is believed to have coordinated and participated in cross-border attacks against the US and coalition forces in Afghanistan. He was also allegedly involved in the planning of the assassination attempt on Afghan President Hamid Karzai in 2008, the FBI website said.
Citing the Taliban sources, the paper said Mullah Zabiullah Mujahid, whose name was earlier proposed for information minister, will now be the spokesperson for the new head of state.
According to reports, the new government in Kabul will be based on the lines of the Iranian leadership. The group’s top religious leader Mullah Hebatullah will be regarded as Afghanistan’s supreme authority.
In Iran, the supreme leader is the highest political and religious authority of the country. He ranks above the president and appoints the heads of the military, the government, and the judiciary. The supreme leader has the final say in the political, religious and military affairs of the country.