How the World Reacted to Taliban’s New Government in Afghanistan

The government announced by the Taliban in Afghanistan is anything but inclusive and the Afghan people will not accept a governing structure that excludes women and minorities, the country’s envoy to the UN said on Wednesday, calling on the world organisation to reject the reinstatement of the Islamic Emirate. The Taliban had on Tuesday unveiled a hardline interim government led by Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund, with key roles being shared by high-profile members of the insurgent group, including a specially designated global terrorist of the dreaded Haqqani Network as the interior minister. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar will be Akhund’s deputy in the “new Islamic government. As I speak and today, the Taliban announced their government. It is anything but inclusive,” Afghanistan’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Ghulam Isaczai said.

Excluding China and Pakistan, Isaczai’s sentiments are being echoed the world over with nations denouncing the Taliban for not keeping its promise of formulating a more ‘broad-based and inclusive’ government – something it had gone hoarse promising after violently taking over the reins of power in Kabul on August 15.

While China reiterated its stand that the Taliban should establish a broad based and inclusive political structure, it also added that the new interim administration announced by the Taliban has put an end to “anarchy” in Afghanistan, terming it as a necessary step to restore order.

We pay attention to the formation of the government, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said responding to a question on the interim government announced by the Taliban in Kabul. “This has put an end to the anarchy in Afghanistan after over three weeks and the necessary step for Afghanistan to restore domestic order and pursue the post war reconstruction,” he said.

India-Russia talks

The national security advisers of Russia and India held talks on Afghanistan on Wednesday and agreed that foreign militant groups operating from its soil posed a threat to Central Asia countries and India, a top government source said.

There was a need for the Taliban to adhere to promises they had made, they said, following the meeting between Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev and Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

US will wait and watch

The US State Department has said that the US is assessing the new Afghan government. “We note the announced list of names consists exclusively of individuals who are members of the Taliban or their close associates and no women,” a State Department statement said. “We also are concerned by the affiliations and track records of some of the individuals. We understand that the Taliban has presented this as a caretaker Cabinet. However, we will judge the Taliban by its actions, not words. We have made clear our expectation that the Afghan people deserve an inclusive government,” it said.

Qatar bats for Taliban’s ‘pragmatism’

Qatar has said the Taliban have demonstrated “pragmatism” and should be judged on their actions as the undisputed rulers of Afghanistan, but stopped short of announcing formal recognition of the Islamists. Qatari Assistant Foreign Minister Lolwah al-Khater told AFP that it would be up to the Afghans to determine their future, not the international community.

Doha was the central intermediary between the Taliban, who opened a political office in Qatar in 2013, and the international community including Washington up until the Islamist group completed their lightning takeover of Afghanistan last month.

“They have shown a great deal of pragmatism. Let’s seize the opportunities there… and look at their public actions,” said Khater.

Germany sceptical

Responding sceptically to the Taliban’s announcement, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that his country is ready to provide humanitarian aid via the United Nations and will continue to speak to the Taliban to secure the departure from Afghanistan of former employees and others. He added that any commitment beyond that will depend on the Taliban’s behaviour.

Maas said: “The announcement of an interim government without the participation of other groups and yesterday’s violence against female demonstrators and journalists in Kabul are not signals that make us optimistic about that.”

Turkey guarded

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday gave a guarded response to the new Afghan government, saying he would closely follow its future course. In his first comments on the Taliban’s appointment on Tuesday of Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund as leader, Erdogan said he did not know how long the new government’s current makeup would last.

“We do not know how long this temporary cabinet will last. Our duty now is to follow this process carefully.”

A new Taliban interim government drawn exclusively from loyalist ranks formally began work Wednesday, with established hardliners in all key posts and no women -– despite previous promises to form an inclusive administration for all Afghans.

As they transition from militant force to governing power, the Taliban are already facing opposition to their rule, with scattered protests — many with women at the forefront — breaking out in cities across the country.

(With agency inputs)

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