Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that although the Taliban promised to form an “inclusive” government after taking control of Afghanistan, there was no indication that they were actually doing so.
Speaking to reporters on a visit to Kuwait, Austin referred to the Taliban’s claim that they would work to have an “open and inclusive Islamic government”, unlike what they had when they controlled Afghanistan before US forces landed in the country nearly 20 years ago.
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“You know, I think the whole international community was hoping that they would be inclusive like they sort of said they would be weeks and months ago, but we haven’t seen the proof of that. early on, ”Austin said.
The Taliban recently announced the members of their new government, and not a single woman was included. A Taliban spokesman said Monday that government posts were now “on an interim basis,” but added that many members of the old guard were part of the new government.
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The government, according to a BBC report, will be headed by Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, with Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar as deputy. Other appointments include Mullah Yaqoob as interim defense minister and Mullah Abdul Salam Hanafi as second deputy.
Sarajuddin Haqqani, the new acting interior minister, heads the militant group known as the Haqqani Network. The FBI has a $ 10 million bounty on its head and it is believed to be holding at least one American hostage, the Associated Press reported.
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When asked about the involvement of the Haqqanis in the new government, Austin noted that “we have no choice” as to who is involved, but acknowledged that “these are certainly people who … I don’t consider a good eye[.] »
These words were soft on criticism of the new government of Senator Lindsey Graham, RS.C., who said in a BBC interview that the officials announced were “a line of thugs and butchers”.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.