Selasa, 07 September 2021

$13m bounty for one of Taliban’s new leaders -

The Taliban has finally announced its government and one of the world’s most notorious terrorists – who has a $A13.5 million bounty on his head – is getting a seat at the table.

The Taliban has finally announced their new government, dashing hopes the militant regime was going to be more inclusive and appoint more diplomatic people to the top roles.

A UN-black-listed veteran, who served as a senior minister during the Taliban’s brutal and repressive regime from 1996 to 2001, scored the top role.

And a notorious terrorist, who currently has a $US10 million ($A13.5 million) bounty on his head for bombings and attacks against innocent Afghan civilians, also scored a seat at the table.

It’s been almost a month since the Taliban swept to power in a swift two week insurgency that saw its forces occupy the presidential palace in Kabul on August 15.

The group announced its new government overnight, also renaming Afghanistan to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid held a press conference in Kabul declaring they would “try to take people from other parts of the country” to form a government.

The Taliban had promised an inclusive government that would reflect the ethnic makeup of the country, but all the top positions were handed to key leaders from the movement and the Haqqani network – the most violent branch of the Taliban known for devastating attacks.

None of the government appointees were women.

Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund has been appointed acting Prime Minister. He was black-listed by the UN more than 20 years ago for the role he played in enforcing the Taliban’s brutalist regime in the 1990s.

As a member of the group’s Supreme Council, he served as deputy foreign minister in their previous regime, and was placed on a UN Security Council sanctions list connected to the “acts and activities” of the Taliban. He remains on that list.

The United Nations said he had a reputation of having been “one of the most effective Taliban commanders”.

Mullah Yaqoob, the son of the Taliban founder and late supreme leader Mullah Omar, was named Defence Minister.

Yaqoob oversees the Taliban’s military commission and was instrumental in unifying the leaders across Afghanistan to launch its insurgency last month.

And Sirajuddin Haqqani, the leader of the Haqqani network, was announced as Interior Minister.

He is the son of a famed commander from the anti-Soviet jihad, when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979.

Haqqani is currently wanted by international officials for his role in attacks on Afghanistan.

The US State Department’s Rewards For Justice Program offers a multimillion-dollar reward for information leading to his arrest.

The reward has ranged from $US5 million to $US10 million ($A6.7 million to $A13.5 million).

The Haqqani Network has long been considered one of the most dangerous and brutal militant factions in Afghanistan.

It is infamous for its use of suicide bombers and is believed to have been behind some of the worst attacks on Kabul in recent years.

Haqqani reportedly orchestrated a 2018 suicide bomb attack in Kabul that killed 103 people using an explosives-filled ambulance.

Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar, who oversaw the signing of the US withdrawal agreement, will be a deputy to Hassan.

Abdul Salam Hanafi, who is also on a UN blacklist, will serve as another deputy to Hassan.

He was a deputy education minister when the Taliban were last in power, when they effectively blocked girls from school.

A UN travel ban on Hanafi was lifted to allow him to take part in talks as part of the Taliban’s political negotiating team in Doha.

The UN Security Council has accused him of potential involvement in drug trafficking.

Fears the Taliban would also reimpose sharia law – a strict interpretation of the Islamic law, derived from the Quran – were also confirmed.

Hibatullah Akhundzada, the secretive supreme leader of the Taliban who has never been seen in public, released a statement confirming the new government would “work hard towards upholding Islamic rules and sharia law”.

The Taliban – which executed people in stadiums and chopped the hands of thieves in the 1990s – has already used deadly force to crack down on protests and previously said it would not stand for any resistance against its rule.

With AFP

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2021-09-08 01:23:39Z

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