Taliban appoints 44 of its members to key roles of provincial governors and police chiefs

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The Taliban on Sunday appointed 44 of its members to key roles, including provincial governors and police chiefs, in an attempt to shore up the country’s governance as it grapples with security and economic problems.

This was the Taliban’s first large-scale appointment since the interim government was formed in September.

Qari Baryal was appointed the governor of Kabul, while Wali Jan Hamza will serve as the city’s police chief, according to a list released by Taliban.

Mr Hamza’s predecessor, Mawlawi Hamdullah Mukhlis was killed last week in an attack on Afghanistan’s biggest military hospital. At least 25 people were killed and more than 50 others were injured in the attack.

The blast added to a growing list of killings in the country since the Taliban took over, undermining the hardline group’s claim to have successfully restored security in the country after decades of war. The security situation in the country has caused worries about the country’s potential to turn into a haven for militant groups.

Afghanistan’s economy has also been hit since the 15 August takeover. More recently, the extremist group banned the use of foreign currency in Afghanistan, saying “the economic situation and national interests in the country require that all Afghans use Afghan currency in their every trade”.

Those found violating the order would face legal action, the Taliban had warned. Before this, US dollars were widely used in areas bordering Afghanistan’s neighbours such as Pakistan.

US Federal Reserve and central banks in Europe froze the overseas assets of the country after the Taliban took over.

“We believe that it’s essential that we maintain our sanctions against the Taliban but at the same time find ways for legitimate humanitarian assistance to get to the Afghan people. That’s exactly what we’re doing,” Deputy United States Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told the US Senate Banking Committee last month.

The Taliban, meanwhile, has called for the release of the country’s assets that were being held overseas.

Additional reporting by agencies

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