| 21 May 2024, Tuesday |

We will judge Taliban by its actions, says US on new government

The US administration expressed concern over “affiliations and track records of some of the individuals”, as the Taliban announced its government

The US government said it has noted the government “consists exclusively of individuals who are members of the Taliban or their close associates and no women”.

The US government reiterated its stand on urging the Taliban to allow safe passage to US citizens and “at-risk” Afghans.

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

Taliban named Mohammad Hassan Akhund as the leader of their new government in Afghanistan. At least five members in the Taliban government are on the UN-designated list of terrorists.

“The cabinet is not complete, it is just acting,” Taliban spokesman Mujahid said, adding,”We will try to take people from other parts of the country.”

Taliban’s interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani was categorised as a US-designated terrorist. The Taliban had swept into Kabul on August 15 in the last phase of US pullout as the evacuation effort was severely disrupted with thousands of Afghans congregating at Kabul airport to escape the Taliban rule.

The US State Department said, “We have made clear our expectation that the Afghan people deserve an inclusive government, adding, “the world is watching closely.”

As he took control of the government, the Taliban’s supreme leader Haibatullah Akhundzada said, “All matters of governance and life in Afghanistan will be regulated by the laws of the holy Sharia.”

Amid the preparation over government formation in the capital on Tuesday, there were anti-Pakistan protests outside the Pakistan embassy in Kabul. Taliban opened fire during the protests, however, there were no reports of any casualties. The protests were mainly led by women with at least 70 people taking part in the demonstrations.