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US concerned over Taliban’s choice of new Afghan rulers

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 09-09-2021 Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times,Washington
a man riding on the back of a truck: Taliban soldiers stand guard in Panjshir province northeastern of Afghanistan, Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021.  (AP photo) © Provided by Hindustan Times Taliban soldiers stand guard in Panjshir province northeastern of Afghanistan, Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021.  (AP photo)

The United States has expressed concern over what it called the lack of diversity in the composition of the Taliban-led caretaker government of Afghanistan.

“We note the announced list of names consists exclusively of individuals who are members of the Taliban or their close associates, and no women. We also are concerned by the affiliations and track records of some of the individuals,” a US state department spokesperson said on Tuesday.

The spokesperson added, “We understand that the Taliban has presented this as a caretaker cabinet. However, we will judge the Taliban by its actions, not words.”

Sirajuddin Haqqani, the interior minister in the caretaker government, is a wanted man in the US, with a reward of $10 million for information leading to his arrest. The FBI says he maintains close ties with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, and is a specially designated global terrorist.

Mullah Abdul Haq Waseeq, the acting intelligence chief, was once an inmate of the prison facility run by the US in Guantanamo Bay. Noorullah Noori, minister of border and tribal affairs, was also at Guantanamo Bay. And Mullah Yaqoob, the defence minister, is the son of Mullah Omar, a Taliban co-founder and leader who was on a UN’s sanctions list.

Blinken asks Taliban to allow flights to take off

US secretary of state Antony Blinken on Wednesday called on the Taliban to allow charter flights carrying Americans and at-risk Afghans to depart from Afghanistan. Planes chartered to carry people out of Afghanistan have been stuck at Mazar-i-Sharif airport. “We’ve made [it] clear to the Taliban that these charters need to be able to depart,” Blinken said in Germany.

(With inputs from agencies)

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