| 20 May 2024, Monday |

Taliban to reveal new Cabinet as sporadic resistance continues

Just weeks after Taliban militants entered Kabul, they announced Thursday, that they were close to forming a new government – possibly as early as Friday

The militant group’s leaders have pledged a softer style of governance than their brutal five-year reign between 1996 and 2001, but they must now turn an insurgent group into a governing power.

“We will shortly be announcing our government, including the Cabinet and list of ministers,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told The National. He said that the Islamic Emirate was at the beginning of Afghanistan’s recovery, which included providing safety for Afghans.

“The situation will improve day by day,” Mr Mujahid said.

Kabul residents expect the new government to be announced after Friday prayers.

Although the Taliban have pledged a more inclusive government, a senior official on Wednesday predicted that women would probably not be appointed to higher political offices.

Since the end of the US withdrawal on Tuesday, life in Kabul seems to have returned to normal, with many people returning to their daily routines.

Outside the capital, heavy fighting broke out between the Taliban and fighters loyal to Panjshir-based resistance forces, led by Ahmad Massoud, son of the late Ahmad Shah Massoud – an Afghan warlord and former leader of the Northern Alliance.

Since the Taliban swept into Kabul on August 15, several thousand fighters from local militias and remnants of the government’s armed forces have massed in the Panjshir valley.

The young Massoud has been joined by Afghanistan’s former first vice president, Amrullah Saleh.

The UAE today sent a plane carrying urgent medical and food aid to Afghanistan, as part of its contribution to provide basic and necessary needs of thousands of Afghan families, especially the most vulnerable groups such as women, children and the elderly.

The assistance is provided within the framework of the humanitarian role being played by the UAE to provide full support to brotherly Afghan people in the current circumstances, contribute to extending the much-needed support for the Afghan people, as well as to promote the approach of the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed, and in commitment to the wise leadership’s policy of promoting values of giving, tolerance and service to humanity.

UAE assistance is not limited to humanitarian aid only. A few days ago, and under the directives of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, the UAE hosted thousands of Afghan families and provided them with care in the community temporarily, in addition to taking actions to provide them with the necessities of a decent life.

About 30 Afghan women protested outside the governor’s office in the western province of Herat and urged the country’s new leaders to include women in their Cabinet.

While Taliban fighters prevented the demonstrators from seeing the governor as they demanded, they did not break up the rally.

Taliban leaders are trying to project a more moderate image in recent months, including saying that women and girls will be able to attend school and work in accordance with Islamic law.

They also said Afghans will be allowed to travel freely, but many are sceptical.