KABUL: Afghanistan’s Taliban-led interim government is all set to be sworn in on September 11, the same date the United States was attacked 20 years ago at the World Trade Center.
The new Afghan government will be headed by Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, while Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Maulvi Abdul Salam Hanafi were appointed deputy prime ministers, the Taliban announced two days ago.
Sources said that Russian officials will attend the ceremony while the Pakistani government has sent its best wishes.
However, the United States and the European Union (EU) have expressed concern about members of the interim government.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blanken said the Taliban government includes people who are “wanted” by US agencies. He said the Taliban would have to gain legal status from the world for some names in the new government.
Moreover, a Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman expressed hope that the new political arrangement in Afghanistan would ensure peace, stability and security.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal added that Saudi Arabia is committed to helping the Afghan people. He said the Saudi people would support whatever path Afghans choose without any outside interference.
The list includes 33 names for the interim government. Here are some of the key appointments:
- Taliban veteran Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund – Acting Prime Minister
- Taliban Co-Founder, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar – Acting Deputy Prime Minister
- Taliban negotiator in Doha, Amir Khan Mottaki – Acting Foreign Minister
- Abbas Stanekzai – Acting Deputy Foreign Minister
- Mullah Yaqub, son of Taliban founder and late Supreme Leader Mullah Omar – Acting Minister of Defense.
- Haqqani Network Leader Sirajuddin Haqqani – Acting Interior Minister
A Taliban spokesman clarified that this was just an “acting” government.