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HomePoliticsWorldMullah Baradar to lead Taliban-led govt in Afghanistan

Mullah Baradar to lead Taliban-led govt in Afghanistan

Earlier, reports claimed that Taliban's top religious leader Mullah Hebatullah Akhundzada will be supreme authority

Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar (Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund) will lead a new Afghan government that could be announced soon, sources in the Islamist group said on 3 September, as it battled rebel fighters while striving to ward off economic collapse.

Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, the son of Taliban founder Mullah Omar (d 2013), and Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, will join Mullah Baradar, who heads the Taliban’s political office, in senior positions in the government, three sources said.

“All the top leaders have arrived in Kabul where preparations are in final stages to announce the new government,” a Taliban militant said on condition of anonymity.

The Taliban, which seized Kabul on 15 August after sweeping across most of the country, have faced resistance in the Panjshir Valley, north of the capital, with reports of heavy fighting and casualties.

Several thousand fighters of regional militias and remnants of the government’s armed forces have assembled in the rugged valley under the leadership of Ahmad Massoud, the son of former Mujahideen commander Ahmad Shah Massoud.

Efforts to negotiate a settlement appear to have failed, with each side blaming the other for the failure.

The government’s legitimacy in the eyes of international donors and investors will be crucial for an economy grappling with drought and the ravages of a that killed an estimated 2,40,000 Afghans.

Humanitarian groups have warned of impending catastrophe and the economy, reliant for years on many millions of dollars of foreign aid, is close to collapse.

Many Afghans were struggling to feed their families amid severe drought well before the Taliban took power and millions may now face starvation, aid agencies say.

“Since 15 August, we have seen the crisis accelerate and magnify, with the imminent economic that is coming this country’s way,” the director of the World Food Programme in Afghanistan, told Reuters from Kabul.

The Joe Biden administration has no plan to release billions in Afghan gold, investments and foreign currency reserves parked in the United States that it froze after the Taliban’s takeover.

In a positive development, a senior executive of Western Union Co said the firm was resuming money-transfer services to Afghanistan in line with a US push to keep up humanitarian work.

The Taliban enforced a radical form of sharia, or Islamic law when it ruled from 1996 to 2001.

But this time around, the movement has tried to present a more moderate face to the world, promising to protect human rights and refrain from reprisals against old enemies.

The US, the and others have cast doubt on such assurances, saying formal recognition of the new government, and the resultant flow of economic aid was contingent on action.

The Taliban have promised safe passage out of the for any foreigners or Afghans left behind by the huge airlift that ended when US troops withdrew ahead of an 31 August deadline. But, with Kabul airport still closed, many were seeking to flee over land.

Thousands of Afghans, some without documents and others with pending US visa applications or whose families have mixed immigration status, wait in “transit hubs” in third countries.

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