Taliban announces all men deputy ministers; accommodates powerful field commanders

The Taliban on Tuesday announced new appointments, all male and mostly deputies ministers,  for their interim government and included two powerful field commanders from the group’s southern stronghold to balance what many calls regional power dynamics within the group

Sep 21, 2021
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Taliban announces all men deputy ministers

The Taliban on Tuesday announced new appointments, all male and mostly deputies ministers,  for their interim government and included two powerful field commanders from the group’s southern stronghold to balance what many calls regional power dynamics within the group.   

Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir, widely believed to have close links with Iran’s powerful IRGC, will be deputy defense minister, Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid announced on Tuesday. Sadr Ibrahim, another senior commander who was left earlier in the previous announcements, has been named deputy minister for the interior. 

Both commanders were close to former Taliban Supreme Leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour who was killed in 2016 in an American drone strike. Ibrahim had been the head of the Taliban’s powerful military commission earlier and was removed later to make way for Mullah Yaqoob, son of the group founding leader Mullah Omar. 

The appointments come amid the growing speculations about internal wrangling within the group due to the regional power dynamics. There were reports of differences between the eastern Taliban, mainly consisted of the supporters of the Haqqani network and the southern Taliban. 

Significantly, the group announced Hazi Nooriddudin Azizi, a prominent businessman, who belongs to Tajik ethnic and comes from Panjshir province, as their acting minister for commerce. Haji Muhammed Bashir, an Uzbek community, was announced his deputy. 

All non-Pashtun ethnic groups, which form almost 52 percent of the Afghan population, were ignored in the earlier announcement. On Tuesday, the Taliban announced a Hazara for deputy minister for health. 

Significantly, despite large-scale demonstrations by women, no woman was announced as a minister or deputy minister this time as well. The Taliban also named an acting minister for Nuclear Energy Department. 

(SAM)