(CNN)The Taliban on Tuesday announced the formation of a hardline interim government for Afghanistan, filling top posts with veterans of the militant group who oversaw the 20-year fight against the US-led military coalition.
No women or members from Afghanistan’s ousted leadership were selected for acting cabinet positions or named to advisory roles, in spite of the Taliban’s promises of an inclusive government and more moderate form of Islamic rule than when it was last in power, from 1996 to 2001.
The Taliban named Mohammad Hassan Akhund, a close aide of the Taliban’s late founder Mohammad Omar, as acting prime minister and Abdul Ghani Baradar, one of the group’s co-founders, was appointed his deputy. Mohammed Yaqoob, a son of Omar, was appointed acting defense minister.
The lineup of senior positions, which includes former Guantanamo inmates, members of a US-designated terror group and subjects of an international sanctions lists, presents the first snapshot of how the Taliban’s leadership of Afghanistan will begin to take shape.Like many in the Taliban’s incoming cabinet, interim Prime Minister Mohammad Hassan Akhund is under United Nations sanctions. A long-time Taliban member, he has been leader of the group’s Shura, or Leadership Council, for about two decades.Some analysts had originally tipped Abdul Ghani Baradar for the top role. Baradar served in the Taliban’s political bureau in Doha, Qatar, and led the Taliban’s peace talks with the US. He recently arrived back in Afghanistan after a 20-year-exile and reportedly met with CIA chief William J. Burns.Two senior members of the Haqqani network, a US-designated terror group aligned with the Taliban and al Qaeda, will also be in the interim government. Both have been sanctioned by the UN and the US.