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Taliban announces new government and officials

On Tuesday, Sept. 7, the Taliban announced their new acting government, as well as senior officials. 

This announcement occurred three weeks after the Taliban seized the country of Afghanistan and one day after the Taliban claimed they seized the Panjshir region.

Panjshir was “the last holdout of anti-Taliban forces in the country,” according to the Guardian. 

Along with announcing their new government, the Taliban named senior government officials that are quite reminiscent of the “old Taliban” that ruled over Afghanistan 20 years ago. 

According to the BBC, the government will be headed by Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, who was the previous foreign minister as well as deputy prime minister of the “old Taliban” from 1996 to 2001. 

The interior minister is Sirajuddin Haqqani, a leader of the Haqqani militant group who is also on the FBI’s most wanted list. 

Despite saying they have wanted to have an “inclusive government,”, according to multiple sources the Taliban is doing anything but. 

“No women or members of Afghanistan’s toppled government were included,” The Washington Post reported in regard to the appointment of senior positions. 

In light of the disregard of inclusivity, hundreds of women took to the Kabul streets on Tuesday to protest the government and demand their rights be respected, according to the New York Times.

“The protest made it clear that the Afghan women are unlikely to easily surrender the gains that they have made over the past two decades,” the New York Times said, “The Taliban used force to crush a demonstration for the second time in less than a week.” 

Witnesses said the Taliban began beating protestors with rifle butts and sticks. They also fired guns in the air, causing the protestors to scatter. 

The Washington Post said universities in Afghanistan began imposing gender segregation and divided classrooms since the Taliban took over the country. 

“I really felt terrible when I entered the class,.” a female student at Kabul University said, “We are actually going back to 20 years ago.” 

The Washington Post also said that the aid of Western governments is contingent on whether Afghanistan’s new government respects basic human rights or not. 

According to Fox News, the White House is in “no rush” to recognize the new Taliban government. 

“There’s no rush to recognition and that will be planned, dependent on what steps the Taliban takes.,” White House Press Sec. Jen Psaki said on Tuesday., “The world will be watching whether or not they allow for American citizens, whether they allow individuals to leave who want to, and how they treat women and girls around the country.” 

President Joe Biden shared a similar sentiment on Monday when he said recognition of a new Taliban government is “a long way off.” 

Some American citizens are still in Afghanistan. On Tuesday, Sept. 7, Sec. of State Antony Blinken said that US officials were “working around the clock” to get Americans home safely. 

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