After weeks of intense gun violence, terrorist acts, property destruction, and deaths in Afghanistan, the Taliban forces finally announced a new government to rule the country. Taliban armies assumed the leading role as they managed to overpower military enforcements and chased away president Ghani. The hostile takeover enacted anxiety among Afghans who sought to leave the country seeking sanctuary in other nations where they felt safe. Taliban’s success was aided by the withdrawal of soldiers by the US as president Joe Biden decided to end the war in Afghanistan, and the state was left vulnerable to the extremist armed forces.
Various negotiations were conducted between government officials and the Taliban to plot out the new administration of governance in the country. But after several sessions, former government officials were placed on house arrest by the Taliban while others had to flee, fearing arrest or being killed. The Taliban have unveiled a new government administration, and the chosen members are all males. These leaders were selected from among those who participated in the Taliban quest for many years and served to achieve the set goals. On Tuesday, an announcement was made which revealed the leaders, and it came three weeks later after they had taken over the nation.
New Afghan Government
Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund was appointed as the interim prime minister, and he is a former senior minister who was very active during the Taliban’s 1990s reign of oppression in Afghanistan. Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s group co-founder, tasked with overseeing the withdrawal of the US military personnel agreement in 2020, got rewarded with the deputy prime minister post. One of the most wanted men by the FBI for being involved in suicide bomb attacks and links with Al Qaeda, Sirajuddin Haqqani, landed the position of interior minister. He is one of the founders of an organization that is regarded as a terrorist group by Washington. The all-male top government leaders did not offer females any positions, which goes against equality standards being propagated across the globe.
Reactions Towards the New Afghan Government
The established Afghan government sparked different opinions and views from nations’ leaders, political analysts, prominent politicians, and other concerned parties.
Sentiments from the US showed serious concern over the “affiliations and tracked records” of selected leaders. A spokesperson for the Department of State said, “We note the announced list of names consists exclusively of individuals who are members of the Taliban or their close associates and no women. We are also concerned by the affiliations and track records of some of the individuals”. The US promoted women emancipation by having a female vice president and female governors, so Americans do pinpoint on gender inequality. “We understand that the Taliban has presented this as a caretaker cabinet. However, we will judge the Taliban by its actions, not words” [Source].
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the situation as “extremely difficult.” He said, “I think it is very important the West collectively should work together to get over to that new government, be it by the Taliban or anybody else, that nobody wants Afghanistan, once again, to be a breeding ground for terror,” [Source].
Italian Foreign Affairs Minister Luigi di Maio concurred with Boris while outlining how “there would be no new military commitment to Afghanistan.”
A Russian delegation is expected to meet with the Taliban, and their embassy in Kabul will remain open.
Recep Tayyip, the Turkish President, outlined how he would be paying attention to any developments in Afghanistan and explained that “We don’t know how long this interim cabinet will last. All we have to do is to follow this process carefully” [Source].
Qatar’s Assistant Foreign Minister, Lolwah al-Khater, urged people to look at the Taliban’s public actions and explained that “They have shown a great deal of pragmatism. Let’s seize the opportunity there… and look at their public relations. They are the de facto rulers, no question about that.”
The Chinese government applauded the Taliban forces for ending violence in Afghanistan and encouraged them to restore peace and order. “China attaches great importance to the announcement by the Taliban of the establishment of an interim government and some important personnel arrangements,” noted Wang Wenbin, the foreign minister, at a press briefing.
According to the European Union, the Taliban failed to create a diverse government in terms of ethnic groups or religion. An EU spokesperson said, “Upon initial analysis of the names announced, it does not look like the inclusive and representative formation in terms of the rich ethnic and religious diversity of Afghanistan we hoped to see and that the Taliban were promising over the past weeks.”
United Nations shared the same views with the EU when it comes to an inclusive settlement, and Farhan Haq, a UN spokesman, said that his organization is not involved in recognizing governments and noted how this issue “is a matter that’s done by member states, not by us. From our standpoint, regarding today’s announcement, only a negotiated and inclusive settlement will bring sustainable peace to Afghanistan”. He went to say to highlight his organization’s mandate of protecting the rights of women and girls to have a peaceful solution that enhances human rights [Source].
The UN Women agency was not pleased with the exclusion of females from the Taliban’s new administration. Head of the agency, Pramila Patten, expressed displeasure towards this act while alluding to how suspicions are raised on the Taliban’s willingness “to protect and respect the rights of women and girls.” To her, women inclusion into politics is a fundamental pre-requisite for gender equality and genuine democracy,” and she added that “be excluding women from the machinery of government, the Taliban leadership has sent the wrong signal about their stated goal of building an inclusive, strong and prosperous society.”
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas uttered how his government is skeptical of the Taliban’s setup and worries about excluding other parties. He said, “A transitional government that does not include other groups is not the signal for more international cooperation and stability in the country,” and noted that “We hope that further government formation (steps) will send the necessary signals. It must be clear to the Taliban that international isolation is not in its interests, and especially not in those of Afghanistan’s people.”
Since it is an interim government, the Taliban might need to consider the recommendations aired out by various nations’ leaders and other organizations to create an acceptable permanent government, which is at par with global trends and instill equality in Afghanistan.