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Taliban declares Afghanistan Islamic Emirate, forms all-male government

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (R) greets Afghan Foreign Minister Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund in Islamabad August 25. Akhund arrived on Tuesday with an 18-member delegation for a four-day official visit to Pakistan, aimed at talks on bilateral issues and the Afghan Transit Trade to the land-locked Afghanistan through Pakistan. MP/DL

The Taliban has declared Afghanistan an “Islamic Emirate”, and formed a new government to be led by Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund.

Akhund is one of the founders of the group, which took control of Afghanistan in mid-August.

“We know the people of our country have been waiting for a new government,” Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban spokesman, said while unveiling the cabinet.

Abdul Ghani Baradar will be the deputy leader and Sirajuddin Haqqani, son of the founder of the Haqqani network, has been named as interior minister.

Baradar was previously head of the Taliban’s political office and oversaw the signing of the US withdrawal agreement last year.

The new interior minister is on the FBI wanted list as he is the leader of the Haqqani militant group, who are affiliated with the Taliban and have been behind some of the deadliest attacks in the country’s two-decade-long war.

Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, son of Mullah Omar, is the Defence Minister, while Hedayatullah Badri is the acting Minister of Finance.

Amir Khan Muttaqi as acting foreign minister, and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and Mullah Abdul Salam Hanafi as two deputies.

The Taliban took full control of the after President Ashraf Ghani fled to avoid being captured.

Ghani is currently in United Arabs Emirate where he is seeking asylum.

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