Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar will lead a new Afghan government, to be announced probably on Saturday, sources in the group said on Friday, as its fighters battled forces loyal to the erstwhile regime in the Panjshir Valley north of Kabul.
While the Taliban have spoken of their desire to form a consensus government, a source close to the Islamist militant movement said the interim government being formed would consist solely of Taliban members. It would comprise 25 ministries, with a religious council, or Shura, of 12 Muslim scholars, the source added. The ‘Shura’ will be vested with the executive powers, top Taliban sources told CNN-News18.
Other groups like the deadly Haqqani network will also have a stake in this government and Sirajuddin Haqqani is likely to be included in the government.
Baradar, who heads the Taliban's political office, will be joined by Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, the son of late Taliban co-founder Mullah Omar, and Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, in senior positions in the government, sources told wire agency Reuters.
‘‘All the top leaders have arrived in Kabul, where preparations are in final stages to announce the new government," a Taliban official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
This will be a ‘caretaker’ or an interim government until things are properly defined by a new constitution to be out by the next spring or summer, sources added, reports News-18 .
Kabul will remain the capital and the Taliban will not operate from Kandahar, it has been confirmed.
Haibatullah Akhundzada, the Taliban's supreme religious leader, will focus on religious matters and governance within the framework of Islam, another Taliban source said. Hamid Karzai is unlikely to find berth in the Shura but will assist in some advisory role.
Being planned within six to eight months is a loya jirga, or grand assembly, bringing together elders and representatives across Afghan society to discuss a constitution and the structure of the future government, the source said.
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