A New Afghan Government Formed Under Mullah Baradar, Sources Said

September 03, 2021

According to at least three Taliban sources on Friday, Mullah Baradar, the head of the Taliban’s political office, will lead a new Afghan government. According to the sources, Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, the son of late Taliban founder Mullah Omar and Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai will be appointed to senior positions in the government.

A day earlier, Taliban official Ahmadullah Muttaqi said on social networks that an occasion was being planned at Kabul’s presidential palace, while private broadcaster Tolo said a new government official statement was impending. The authenticity of the new government in the eyes of international donors and investors will be critical for the economy as the country struggles with food insecurity and the destructive nature of a conflict that has killed an estimated 240,000 Afghans.

A veteran Taliban official told Reuters last month that the Taliban’s supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, is predicted to have ultimate authority over a new governing council, with a president below him. The supreme Taliban leader is assisted by three deputies: Mawlavi Yaqoob, son of the late movement’s founder, Mullah Omar; Sirajuddin Haqqani, leader of the powerful Haqqani network; and Abdul Ghani Baradar, one of the groups’s founding members.

Human rights organizations have issued dire warnings as severe drought and war-related uprisings have forced millions of families to evacuate their homes. Afghanistan badly needs money, and the Taliban are unlikely to gain instant access to the Afghan central bank’s roughly $10 billion in assets, which are mostly held abroad.

The new central bank head assigned by the Taliban has tried to reassure banks that the group wants a properly operational financial sector, but has provided little information on how it will can provide leverage required. Afghanistan’s real GDP is expected to fall 9.7 percent this fiscal year, with a further drop of 5.2 percent predicted next year, according to analysts in a report from Fitch Solutions.

Foreign Investment would be expected to support a more positive view which Fitch defined as “a few large economies, namely China and potentially Russia, accepting the Taliban as the legal government.”

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