Forty-four Taliban members appointed as governors and police chiefs around Afghanistan

First large-scale round of appointments since Cabinet formed

Members of the Taliban delegation, icluding deputy prime minister Abdul Salam Hanafi (C), attend an international conference on Afghanistan in Moscow on October 20, 2021. AFP
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The Taliban appointed 44 of its members to key roles including provincial governors and police chiefs on Sunday, a key step in shoring up its governance as Afghanistan grapples with growing security and economic problems.

It is first large-scale round of appointments announced since the Cabinet was formed in September.

The Taliban released the list of its members' new roles, including Qari Baryal to serve as governor of Kabul and Wali Jan Hamza as the city's police chief.

The previous commander in charge of Kabul's security, Mawlawi Hamdullah Mukhlis, was killed this month in an attack on Afghanistan's largest military hospital in downtown Kabul.

The Taliban took over the country on August 15 but have faced an uphill battle in their promise to restore order and security after decades of war.

A local ISIS branch known as the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) have carried out a spate of attacks around the country, while the economy has been plunged into crisis.

In early October, ISIS-K killed or injured at least 100 people in a suicide attack at a Shiite mosque, the UN said.

Last month the Pentagon's undersecretary of defence for policy, Colin Kahl, warned the Senate armed services committee that ISIS-K could be ready to strike the US in six months.

On October 9, the US and the Taliban held their first in-person talks since the American withdrawal from Afghanistan.

There have been international calls for the group to negotiate with other political players to form an inclusive government including minorities and women, although substantive progress on that has so far not materialised.

Updated: November 08, 2021, 8:47 AM