cable- Although 2 years and 7 months have passed since the arrival Taliban To power in Afghanistan In its struggle to build a state, it has not yet been able to form an official government, draft a constitution, and build relations with the international community.
The interim government – which the movement announced weeks after it took power in August 2021 – is headed by a council of ministers consisting of 33 ministers who were former Taliban officials or loyal to it, such as Trade Minister Nour al-Din Azizi, and some of them are subject to sanctions. United nations AndUnited State.
Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund, who is close to the movement's leader, holds the position of acting prime minister and is one of its founders Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar -Who led peace negotiations with Washington– Position of Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs.
Mullah Abdul Salam Hanafi holds the position of Deputy Prime Minister for Administrative Affairs, and Mawlawi Abdul Kabir holds the position of Deputy Prime Minister for Political Affairs.Sirajuddin Haqqani The Ministry of Interior, the son of the movement’s founder, Mawlawi Muhammad Yaqoub Mujahid, holds the position of Minister of Defense, and Amir Khan Muttaqi holds the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs, andZabihullah Mujahid He is the spokesman for the Afghan government.
During the first six months of Taliban rule, it seemed as if the Council of Ministers would shape governance policies and decide on crucial and fundamental issues, but it was increasingly bypassed by the movement's leader, Sheikh Hibatullah Akhundzadeh.
A source in the presidential palace told Al Jazeera Net, “The Taliban leader controlled the joints of the state, and assigned each official his work circle, and no one can speak about fateful matters, regardless of his status and history in the movement. Even the agenda of the Council of Ministers must be seen by the leader before discussing it in the Council.” The decisions approved therein must be approved by the leader before announcing them.”
The Taliban calls its government the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”; It is the title of the first regime that the movement established in the 1990s, and they used to refer to it throughout their two-decade struggle. Its leader supervises all affairs of state and society according to a religious perspective.
A source in the Ministry of Justice explained to Al Jazeera Net that “Taliban leader Akhundzada controls all government departments, and the appointment and dismissal of any official is solely his authority, and what distinguishes him from previous rulers is the officials' absolute obedience to him.”
When we examine the formation of the current government, we will see that the leader of the movement has defined the tasks of the political, military and financial committees in it, and that everyone is carrying out the tasks assigned to them, and are committed to absolute obedience and are unable to discuss important and crucial issues.
This dynamic, which is still developing, came to light when Akhundzada canceled at the last minute the return of girls to secondary schools that the Taliban had long promised, and despite internal discontent at the leadership level, they, out of obedience, could not criticize the decision but rather accept it.
Whoever objects must step down from his position, as happened with the first Minister of Higher Education, Abdul Baqi Haqqani. Foreign diplomats and Afghan affairs experts have begun to talk about the emergence of “centers of power” between the movement in Kabul and Kandahar.
The Taliban leader and his circle of advisors and associates in Kandahar Province do not carefully manage all aspects of governance, and several specialized committees have been formed to study policy, seek to reach consensus in positions and opinions, and others to implement decisions, such as the Committee for the Return of Former Political Figures to Afghanistan.
A source in the presidential palace told Al Jazeera Net, “The Taliban leader recommends the audit committee and the Supreme Court for its president, Abdul Hakim Haqqani, because of his position in the movement. The leader has broad authority to appoint and dismiss provincial governors and other officials, and he does not consult anyone on such matters.”
It appears that whoever actually holds power in the Taliban is still appointed according to multiple, deep-rooted factors and criteria that were established while the movement fought American and foreign forces in Afghanistan. Official government titles are rarely decisive in themselves.
Writer and political researcher Hikmat Jalil told Al Jazeera Net, “Many people interested in Afghan affairs have tried to assess the extent of the strength of some factions, but since the Taliban seized power, they have engaged in a constantly changing process to maintain a balance between their various elements and interests. They are obsessed with their cohesion and outward appearance, so it is difficult to… Outsiders internalize power politics within the movement.”
When we compare the personality of the Taliban leader with its founder Mullah Muhammad OmarThe latter used to appear in popular and official meetings, and met with foreign officials, while Akhundzadeh has only met so far with the Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman bin Jassim Al Thani And the leader of the Pakistani Jamiat-ul-Ulama only, Mullah Fazlur Rehman.
He also has only one photo that was taken of him after he was appointed leader of the movement in 2016, and its date and location are not known, and he chose to remain out of sight, as was the case before he came to power.
Given the importance of the Taliban leader in its leadership hierarchy, ensuring his security is a priority for the current Afghan government, and the authorities concerned with his protection oppose his appearance in public meetings like other presidents for security reasons.
Afghan government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid explained to Al Jazeera Net that the leader of the “Islamic Emirate” meets people, mingles with them, receives government officials, and chairs government meetings, “but he does not take pictures and does not mind him only out of piety.”
Experts on Afghan affairs believe that the Taliban leader is trying to enhance his “charisma” so he does not appear in front of the general public, and that he believes that this method helps him maintain his prestige in the minds of the people.
Political researcher Abdul Karim Nouri told Al Jazeera Net that the Taliban controls all Afghan lands, and was able to put an end to the activity Islamic State organizationThe main reason for its leader not appearing is “to enhance charisma only and not for security reasons as they justify.”