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What a Taliban Government Will Look Like

Author: Lynne O’Donnell

Affiliation:  journalist and author, former Afghanistan bureau chief for the Associated Press (2009–2017)

Organization/Publisher: Foreign Policy

Date/Place: August 30, 2021/USA

Type of Literature: Research Article

Word Count: 1693


Keywords: US exit, Afghanistan, Afghan New Government, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar


The article relates to the Afghan new government formation, that Taliban leaders will shape a 12-man assembly to rule Afghanistan and is expected to include members of the former US-supported government as they endeavor to form an administration that is acceptable to the international community. The three most influential men in the governing council will be Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, co-founder of the Taliban; Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, the man behind the victorious military strategy and the son of the group’s founder, Mullah Mohammad Omar; and Khalil Haqqani, an elder figure in the Haqqani linkage. Momentarily, the Taliban’s efforts to amalgamate control over the government are beset by factional divides. The old southern, Pashtun-dominated Taliban has given way to a newer generation with more Uzbek and Tajik insurgent leaders. The Haqqani network has taken on a leading role in the suppression of Kabul. “The Haqqani group has control of the security and is the core of the force in Kabul, the real movers and shakers—which has angered the Kandahar faction under the leadership of Mullah Baradar,” the former defense official said. In the north, the Uzbek and Tajik Taliban leaders “are more extreme and are intent on proving themselves, so we need to wait to see who emerges as leader,” the former official said. One group that the Taliban is probable to continue to shun: northern warlords including Uzbek leader Abdul Rashid Dostum and Atta Mohammad Noor. Dostum notoriously killed many Taliban gunmen after the US-led invasion in 2001. Despite the Taliban’s near-complete control of the country, the international community should wait at least three months before offering the new Taliban regime diplomatic recognition, said several sources aligned with both the former government and the Taliban. One source, aligned with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, said the red lines should be “maintaining the republic, holding elections, human rights, women’s rights, and freedom of speech.”


By: Maryam Khan, CIGA Research Associate



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