Key takeaways from the Taliban Cabinet announcement

The group promised to form an inclusive government, but international community sees otherwise

The Taliban’s interim government was unveiled late on Tuesday, shocking the international community as it has been filled with the group’s top officials who led the 20-year war against the US-led international coalition.

They vowed to uphold power from a more moderate form of Islamic rule than when they last ruled from 1996 to 2001.

Here's what you need to know about the new Cabinet and its early decisions.

Ministry of Women's Affairs abolished

Following the announcement of the interim government, the Taliban reportedly disbanded the Ministry of Women's Affairs.

The move comes days after a violent suppression of female-led protests against Taliban policies restricting women's freedoms.

There was no mention of a ministry for women in the announcement but the Taliban’s spokesperson said the group would only be dealing with the issue.

No women or ethnic minorities in Cabinet positions

Women and members of the previous administration were excluded from the Cabinet.

Female protesters in Kabul had been calling for inclusive policies as they fear losing the hard-won rights and freedoms they exercised over the last 20 years.

Washington has raised concerns about the new Cabinet.

"We note the announced list of names consists exclusively of individuals who are members of the Taliban or their close associates and no women," the State Department said.

Four senior members are former Guantanamo inmates

Four senior members of the Taliban’s new government were former inmates of Guantanamo Bay.

All of them had previously been detained by the US at the prison, and were released as part of a prisoner swap for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in 2014.

Khairullah Khairkhwa, believed to be one of the founding fathers of the Taliban movement, is now the acting minister of information and broadcasting.

Noorullah Noori, who was handed over to US forces and imprisoned in Guantanamo in 2001, is now the interim minister of borders and tribal affairs.

Abdul Haq Wasiq is the acting director of intelligence, and Mohammad Fazil, who was a leading military commander, is the deputy defence minister.

Several ministers on UN and FBI’s most wanted terror lists

Taliban veteran Hassan Akund is now serving as acting prime minister. He was deputy foreign minister under the Taliban's old regime, and is on a UN blacklist.

The new Cabinet's interior minister is the FBI most-wanted leader of the Haqqani militant group, Sirajuddin Haqqani.

Millions offered by US as rewards on information of certain ministers

Rewards worth more than $10 million have previously been offered by the US on information of the whereabouts of certain ministers.

Washington had put a $10 million-bounty on Haqqani's head.

Since 2016, Haqqani has served as one of two deputy leaders of the Taliban.

Education is not essential, says education minister

In remarks that drew widespread criticism, the Taliban's Minister of Education, Sheikh Molvi Noorullah Munir was seen in a video questioning the relevance of higher education.

"No degree, master's degree or PhD is valuable today. You see the Mullahs and Taliban that are in power, have no Phd, MA or even a high school degree, but are the greatest of all," said Sheikh Munir.

The remarks drew huge condemnation on social media.

Updated: September 9th 2021, 2:26 PM
EDITOR'S PICKS
NEWSLETTERS