By RFE/RL’s Radio Azadi
October 4, 2021
Afghanistan’s interim Taliban government has held its first cabinet meeting since taking power in August, the group’s chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on October 4 in a press release, which also announced that the government would resume issuing passports and ID cards to Afghan citizens.
The Taliban unilaterally formed a government led by acting Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund last month after taking control of the country in a lightning offensive amid a hasty withdrawal of U.S.-led forces that put an end to the 20-year war there.
Since the Taliban is unrecognized by the international community as Afghanistan’s legitimate government, it is unclear if the new passports will be recognized by any foreign governments.
Also on October 4, the Taliban appointed several new ministers to the interim government and new military commanders.
A total of 38 new official appointments made by Taliban Supreme Leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada were published, almost all of whom are religious clerics from the Pashtun ethnic group, in a fresh blow to those Afghans calling for a multiethnic interim government and one that includes women.
Among the new appointees is Deputy Prime Minister Maulvi Abdul Kabir, who is also a member of the Taliban’s leadership council and served in key positions during the Taliban rule in Afghanistan in the late 1990s.
Various Taliban security agencies were also instructed to form a joint commission to improve security in both Kabul and the provinces.
The government meeting came a day after a deadly bombing outside a Kabul mosque that was claimed by the Islamic State extremist group.
It was not immediately clear how many people died in the October 3 blast, with various sources putting the death toll at five to 12 people killed and more than 30 wounded.
With reporting by dpa and Reuters