Taliban Spokesman Denies ‘Baradar the Butcher’ will Lead New Government in Afghanistan

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid refuted as rumours Friday afternoon numerous media reports regarding the names to be included in the new government of Afghanistan the militant group is expected to announce almost three weeks after its militants seized control of the country.

The only thing Mujahid confirmed in an interview with Italy’s La Repubblica.was that there will be no female ministers in the new Afghan government, noting at the same time women can work in ministries, the police or in the judiciary as aides.

Al Jazeera stressed before that the new Afghan government will also not feature any officials from the previous administration.

According to reports Mujahid refuted, the feared Taliban co-founder and political office chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who was once nicknamed “Baradar the Butcher” due to his cruelty, will lead the new Afghan government.  Baradar, among other things, is the only surviving Taliban leader personally appointed deputy by the late Taliban commander Mullah Mohammed Omar.

Senior government positions are also planned for the Taliban spokesman Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai as well as for Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, son of the Taliban movement’s late founder.

The new government, set to include 25 ministries and a consultative council of 12 Muslim scholars, should allegedly be joined also by Haibatullah Akhundzada, the Taliban’s supreme religious leader, who’s expected to focus on religious matters and how to govern within the framework of Islam.

According to previous speculations pointed by Enamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban’s cultural commission, Mullah Akhundzada was also considered to head the new government.

With preparations in final stages and all the top leaders already in Kabul, it seems that the Taliban are considering government made up solely of Taliban members despite initially claiming to want to form a consensus government.

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