NEW DELHI: The Taliban on Tuesday evening announced the new government. Mullah Hasan Akhund will be the acting Prime Minister in the new government while Mullah Baradar will be his first deputy.
Following are some of the key figures in the new government that will take charge in Kabul:
Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund (acting Prime Minister)
Hasan Akhund is the chief of the Taliban’s powerful decision-making body ‘Rehbari Shura, which serves much like a government Cabinet running all the group’s affairs, subject to the approval of the top leader.
Taliban supreme leader Mullah Hebatullah Akhundzada himself proposed Mullah Hasan’s name to head the government, reports say.
Mullah Hasan belongs to Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, and was among 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.
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (acting deputy Prime Minister)
Baradar was widely anticipated to be lead the government before the anouncements on Tuesday evening.
One of the co-founders of the Taliban, Baradar was head of the political office of the group in Doha. He was part of the negotiating team that attempted to thrash out a political deal for a ceasefire and more lasting peace in Afghanistan.
Baradar, reported to have been one of Taliban founder Mullah Omar’s most trusted commanders, was captured in 2010 by security forces in the Karachi and released in 2018.
Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob (acting defence minister)
He son of the Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar. Yaqoob was a student of Mullah Hebatullah, who had earlier appointed him as head of the powerful military commission of the Taliban.
Yaqoob is believed to be in his early 30s.
Sirajuddin Haqqani (acting interior minister)
He is the son of the famous anti-Soviet warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani and head of the notorious Haqqani network- infamous for its use of suicide bombers.
Sirajuddin Haqqani is a specially designated global terrorist. According to the FBI website, the US Department of State has an offer of $5 million for information leading directly to his arrest.
He was also allegedly involved in the January 2008 attack on a hotel in Kabul and in the planning of the assassination attempt on former Afghan President Hamid Karzai in 2008.
Haqqani is believed to be in his late 40s or early 50s.
Amir Khan Muttaqi (acting foreign minister)
Originally from Paktia, Muttaqi calls himself a resident of Helmand.
Muttaqi served as minister of culture and information during the previous Taliban government, as well as minister of education. Muttaqi was later sent to Qatar and was appointed a member of the peace commission and negotiation team that held talks with the United States.
Neither militant commander nor religious leader, according to Taliban sources, Muttaqi is the chair of the Invitation and Guidance Commission, which during the insurgency had led efforts to get government officials and other key figures to defect.
Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai (acting deputy foreign minister)
A former deputy minister in the Taliban’s government before its ouster, Stanekzai lived in Doha for nearly a decade, and became the head of the group’s political office there in 2015.
He has taken part in negotiations with the Afghan government, and has represented the Taliban on diplomatic trips to several countries.
Zabihullah Mujahid (acting deputy information minister)
The long-time spokesman for the Taliban, Mujahid has for more than a decade been the key conduit for information on the group’s activities, regularly posting details of suicide attacks through his Twitter account.
No photo of him existed until he gave his first press conference following the fall of Kabul last month, and for years American military intelligence believed Mujahid was a persona for several individuals running the group’s media operations.
(With inputs from agencies)