KABUL : The Taliban are likely to announce their ‘new government’ in Afghanistan on Saturday, news agencies reported, even as the last flame of resistance burns on in Panjshir Valley, with rebel fighters hitting back at the hardline Islamist militants. According to reports, Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is set to lead the new Afghan regime, joined by Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, the son of late Taliban co-founder Mullah Omar, and Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, in senior positions. Haibatullah Akhundzada, the Taliban’s supreme religious leader, will focus on religious matters and governance within the framework of Islam, reported the Reuters news agency.
The Taliban face the enormous challenge of shifting gears from being an insurgent group to governing power, days after the United States fully withdrew its troops and ended two decades of war. Here’s what we know of the situation so far:
- The Taliban ‘government’ would comprise 25 ministries, with a consultative council, or Shura, of 12 Muslim scholars, a person close to the Islamist militant group said on Friday. They added that while the Taliban have often spoken of their desire to form a consensus government with other Afghan leaders, the interim government which is now being formed would consist solely of Taliban members.
- A Loya Jirga, or ‘grand assembly’ is also in the works, to be formed within six to eight months. This assembly is aimed at bringing together elders and representatives across Afghan society to discuss a constitution and the structure of the future government.
- While there is no definite timeframe on when the interim government cabinet would be finalised, those privy to the matter have said that it would be settled by Saturday, while others feel it could take until the middle of next week.