Selasa, 07 September 2021

Taliban gives Afghanistan a new name -

Chaos is unfolding as the first controversial Taliban names to lead a new government in Afghanistan are revealed. Plus, the country has a new name.

The Taliban has announced the formation of a new “caretaker” government in Afghanistan, whose leaders include one “terrorist” wanted by the FBI and another wanted by the United Nations.

The militant group had previously delayed forming its new government twice, reportedly due to an internal struggle over how to manage the administration under the world’s watchful eye.

At a press conference in Kabul, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the announcement came after “deep, deep consultation with the elders”.

Another Taliban official told the BBC Afghanistan was “now officially the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”.

The announcement came hours after the Taliban reportedly fired shots into the air to disperse protesters, with footage showing members of the group holding guns and threatening women.

The Taliban said the new government was only “acting” and not “final”.

The top posts have been given to those who helped the group retake control of Afghanistan after it was swept from power by western forces two decades ago. Kept at bay throughout the war, the Taliban swiftly conquered the country as the United States and its allies completed their withdrawal in recent months.

Mohammad Hasan Akhund will lead the new government as Prime Minister while the group’s co-founder, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, will be one of two deputy leaders.

Akhund currently controls the Taliban’s leadership council, which coordinates and runs all of its affairs, subject to the approval of the group’s head, Mullah Hebatullah Akhundzada.

Akhundzada was the leader of the previous Taliban government in Kabul in the last years of its rule, and is on a UN terror list.

Experts have described Akhund’s ascension to the prime ministership as a significant promotion.

Baradar is chairman of Taliban’s political office in Doha, and was the group’s lead negotiator when it reached a deal with the United States in February of last year, which committed the US to a full military withdrawal by May 1, 2021.

President Joe Biden ultimately pushed back the deadline to the end of August.

Sarajuddin Haqqani, the new acting interior minister, is a senior leader of the Haqqani network, according to the FBI, which describes him as “a specially designated global terrorist”. He has a US$5 million bounty ($6.8 million) on his head.

The Acting Minister of Defense, Mullah Yaqoub, is the son of Taliban founder Mullah Omar, who died in 2013. He has also been one of the deputy leaders of the Taliban since 2016.

“We know the people of our country have been waiting for a new government,” Mujahid said.

There are no women in the new administration..

Al Jazeera correspondent Charles Stratford said most of the names announced for the new government were “old faces” of the Taliban.

“The vast majority of them are actually Pashtun and are not taking into consideration, critics would say, the vast, great ethnic diversity of this country,” Stratford reported.

Obaidullah Baheer, a lecturer at the American University of Afghanistan, told Al Jazeera the announcement today would not do the Taliban’s effort to gain international recognition “any favours”.

He said the delay in forming the new government was not spent on “negotiating inclusivity or potential power sharing” with other parties, but on “how to split the pie among their own ranks”.

Meanwhile, footage posted to social media showed clashes between Taliban militants and protesters in Kabul, with multiple reports of violence against women.

Dozens of women were among the crowd surrounding the presidential palace, with one sign reading: “I am a mother, when you kill my son you kill a part of me.”

Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad posted video footage of women allegedly locked inside a bank by the Taliban.

In separate footage, a group of Afghan women were seen holding placards and protesting in the street, shouting: “Women’s rights are human right.”

In another video, a Taliban member was seen pointing a gun at a woman at a protest against Pakistan in Kabul. Demonstrators had gathered outside Pakistan’s embassy, accusing the neighbouring country of aiding the Taliban.

“To those who claim that the Taliban has changed. Here you can see the true face of the Taliban. We women came to the streets with empty hands; we only had our cameras, but they have guns and bullets,” Alinejad said.

According to the Associated Press the Taliban “fired into the air to disperse protesters and arrested several journalists, the second time in less than a week the group used heavy-handed tactics to break up a demonstration in the Afghan capital”.

Militants reportedly waved Kalashnikov rifles and stole a microphone from one journalist before assaulting him with it.

They “began beating him with it, breaking the microphone”, AP reported. The journalist was later handcuffed and detained for several hours.

“This is the third time I have been beaten by the Taliban covering protests,” he said

“I won’t go again to cover a demonstration. It’s too difficult for me.”

When questioned, Mujahid claimed the protests weren’t authorised and blamed foreign forces.

“We will not allow illegal protests,” the Taliban spokesman said.

“We will control protests that are co-ordinated from abroad. Our police are not trained in dealing with protests. We call on the media and others to protest according to rules.”

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2021-09-07 16:02:13Z

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