Taliban puts off government formation again

Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar is tipped to lead the new Afghan government
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Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar is tipped to lead the new Afghan government

Highlights

Putting efforts for installing inclusive government: Reports

Kabul: The Taliban were expected to announce the government formation in Kabul on Saturday, with the group's co-founder Mulla Abdul Ghani Baradar leading the regime.

However, the Taliban have postponed the government formation again for the second time. Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said on Saturday that the announcement about the new government and Cabinet members will now be made next week. He did not provide any reason behind the postponement.

The Taliban were expected to announce the government formation today in Kabul, with the group's co-founder Mulla Abdul Ghani Baradar as its head. The reports, however, suggest that the insurgents have been struggling to shape an inclusive administration acceptable to the international community.

"The Taliban can form a government of their own but they are now focussing to have an administration in which all parties, groups and sections of the society have proper representation," according to Khalil Haqqani, a member of the committee tasked to negotiate talks with different groups over the government formation.

Khalil Haqqani, who is in charge of the security of Kabul, revealed that former Afghanistan's prime minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and brother of ousted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Hashmat Ghani Ahmadzai, will be given representation in the government. Hashmat Ghani had recently indicated that he'll support a Taliban-led government.

"Taliban are well capable of bringing security but running a functional government requires the input and collaboration of younger, educated Afghans. The so called expired politicians should be sidelined completely so that the failed experience of coalition government is not repeated," he wrote on Twitter.

On Friday, US secretary of state Antony Blinken reiterated the expectations from a Taliban-led government, including the formation of an inclusive government, rejecting reprisals and upholding the basic rights of Afghans.

The top US diplomat was responding to the reports of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar getting the charge of the new government.

"There is an expectation that any government that emerges now will have some real inclusivity and that it will have non-Talibs in it who are representative of different communities and different interests in Afghanistan," said Blinken, who is set to visit Doha on Sunday.

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