Hassan is presently head of the Taliban's powerful decision-making body — Rehbari Shura, or leadership council — which serves much like a government Cabinet running all the group’s affairs, subject to the approval of top leader. (Photo: Reuters)
Mullah Mohammad Hassan, the little-known head of the Taliban’s leadership council, was named as acting prime minister, spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said at a press conference in Kabul on Tuesday. Taliban
co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the main public face of the group, will serve as his deputy.
Sirajuddin Haqqani -- the leader of the Haqqani Network, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization -- will serve as acting interior minister. That may complicate any moves by the U.S. to cooperate with the Taliban, particularly as President Joe Biden urges the Taliban
to cut all ties with terrorist groups.
The U.S. and its allies have been watching to see whether the Taliban would form an inclusive government that can stabilize the country and prevent a return to civil war. Other demands include freedom of travel for those who want to leave Afghanistan
and rights for women, who faced extreme repression when the Taliban last held power at the turn of the century.
For the new Taliban government, lots is at stake. Signs of an economic crisis are brewing, with prices of essential goods rising in Kabul while banks run short on cash. The U.S. has frozen roughly $9 billion in assets belonging to Da Afghanistan
Bank, or DAB, the nation’s central bank, and the International
Monetary Fund cut off the group from using fund reserve assets.
Taliban gunman points at anti-Pak protesters. Gunmen fired in the air on Tuesday to scatter protesters in Kabul, witnesses said, as video showed scores scurrying to escape volleys of gunfire. Hundreds of men and women shouting slogans.(Reuters)
The regional and wider security threats have already played at the Kabul airport, where a suicide bombing blamed on a local off-shoot of the Islamic State terror group killed nearly 170 Afghans and 13 U.S. service personnel in the last days of the chaotic American evacuation from the country.
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