07 Sep 2021: Afghanistan: Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund to head 'acting' Taliban government
Weeks after overthrowing the government in Afghanistan, the Taliban has named Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund as the leader of the new government, spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid announced on Tuesday. The spokesperson said that the group's co-founder, Abdul Ghani Baradar, will be the deputy Afghan leader in the "acting" government. Earlier, the group had been trying to form a government in collaboration with local leaders.
Details: Taliban's deputy leader named acting interior minister
Further, Mujahid announced that the Taliban's deputy leader Sirajuddin Haqqani will be the acting interior minister. Political chief Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai has been named the acting deputy foreign minister while Mullah Yaqoob will be the acting defense minister, he said. The new Afghanistan government may be installed on Wednesday. The development comes a day after the Taliban claimed Panjshir Valley, the last holdout.
Panjshir: Yesterday, Taliban claimed Panjshir
On Monday, the Taliban announced that it had taken control of the Panjshir Valley. The region has a history of anti-Taliban resistance and it is where the National Resistance Front had gathered, joining forces with armed militia, and politicians of the ousted government. However, the chief commander of the Panjshir resistance, Saleh Mohammed, was killed in the clashes.
Recent news: Taliban to invite 6 countries to government formation ceremony
Earlier, it was reported that the Taliban has invited six countries to attend the government formation ceremony. Apart from Pakistan and Qatar, which are known to have maintained cordial ties with the Taliban, the group has also invited China, Iran, Russia, and Turkey. The move to invite other nations is seen as part of the negotiation to bring about a peaceful resolution in Afghanistan.
Context: Taliban overthrew government on August 15
The Taliban had been gaining ground in Afghanistan ever since the United States decided to withdraw its troops as part of a peace deal. The group quickly captured several key provincial cities, eventually storming the Presidential Palace in Kabul on August 15. President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. Thousands of Afghans and foreign nationals have since left the country.
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Also see: Who is Mullah Hassan Akhund, likely new Afghanistan PM?
What explains Taliban's invite to 6 countries for government ceremony?
Taliban says Panjshir resistance chief commander Saleh Mohammed killed
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