The Taliban is preparing to announce its own Islamic government structure in Afghanistan soon. According to The New York Times, citing a senior Taliban official, Hibatullah Akhundzada will be declared the main religious leader and the highest authority in the state.
The New York Times reporter interviewed Taliban officials in Kabul and Kandahar to learn about the formation of the government, and discussed with other sources that Akhundzada was the supreme leader of the Islamic Emirate.
Akhundzada is already reportedly meeting with other Taliban leaders in Kandahar. He is referred to as “Jaim” and “Rahbar” in official Taliban talks. The meaning of the two words is – ‘leader’.
Iran’s supreme head of state, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has also been called in for such a theological address.
However, it is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. But in the face of a growing humanitarian and economic crisis, the new Taliban government is sure to face mountainous challenges.
Moreover, the new government will face a cash crunch as the international community and donors, including the United States, cut off cooperation. Most countries are also reluctant to recognize the Taliban government.
In this situation, basic facilities such as electricity connections in Afghanistan are at risk of being cut off. Ordinary Afghans are suffering from abnormal food inflation. Many are suffering from malnutrition.
However, talks over the formation of the government are still ongoing, with the senior Taliban official, speaking on condition of anonymity, saying the names of key government ministers, such as the communications and interior ministry, could be announced by Thursday (September 2nd).
According to Bilal Karimi, a member of the Taliban’s cultural affairs commission, Bloomberg News also reported on plans to form a new government and Akhundzada’s new position.
Taliban officials say they expect Mullah Abdul Gani Baradar, one of the group’s most influential leaders and co-founder, to head the formal government. Baradar will be directly involved in running the state, and Akhundzada will be the ultimate authority and top spiritual leader.
Mullah Baradar was the main negotiator for the Taliban delegation to the peace talks with the United States in Doha, Qatar. The United States began withdrawing troops from Afghanistan soon after an agreement was reached under his leadership.
Other top officials in the government could be Akhundzada’s deputy, Maulvi Mohammad Yaqub and Sirajuddin Haqqani.
However, it is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. After President Ashraf Ghani fled, Karzai and Abdullah stayed in Kabul and discussed power-sharing with the Taliban.
In addition, Sadar Ibrahim, who has been acting interior minister since the Taliban took control of the capital Kabul, could also get a seat in the cabinet.