New Delhi: With the announcement of an all-male interim government in Afghanistan which listed veterans of their hard-line rule, the United States has expressed concerns about the members but said it would judge it by actions along with the free movement of people.
The US will be keeping a close watch on the individuals inducted into the government and their affiliations. “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 also are concerned by the affiliations and track records of some of the individuals,” a State Department spokesperson said, according to news agency AFP.
“We understand that the Taliban has presented this as a caretaker cabinet. However, we will judge the Taliban by its actions, not words,” the spokesperson added. The State Department has reiterated its stance that the Taliban should allow safe passage to US citizens including Afghans looking to leave.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is conducting talks on Afghanistan in Qatar, said the Taliban remained cooperative till the travelers had travel documents amid accusations from Republican lawmakers and activists that charter planes were stuck.
Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund has been appointed as their acting prime minister, who is on a UN sanctions list and served in the Islamists’ brutal 1996-2001 regime. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar will be his deputy, who is a co-founder of the Taliban and was released by Pakistan under US pressure to enable him to get involved in negotiations after the withdrawal of US troops.
While the interior minister is Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is part of a US-designated terrorist group, and the US announced millions of dollars for information for his arrest. “We have made clear our expectation that the Afghan people deserve an inclusive government,” the State Department spokesperson said.
The Taliban acquired control of Afghanistan overthrowing the 20-year-old Western-backed government as the US pulled out ending the longest war.