Power sharing delays the formation of the Taliban government

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The Taliban’s takeover of power has created a power vacuum in Afghanistan. The announcement of the new Government is being made to wait before the search for balances that will keep the different factions of the movement and support outside it. For now, everything indicates that Abdulghani Baradar, co-founder of the group and leader of its political arm, will be in charge of the Executive. It remains to be seen how much weight the most radical sectors will have and how the portfolios will be distributed.

Faiz Zaland, a professor at the University of Kabul and very close to the Taliban, specifies that “Baradar is not going to have the title of prime minister, but of rasul waziran ” (literally, messenger of the ministers), a locution of religious resonances. But he concedes that he will “lead the team” of Government. “We must wait for the official announcement, which will be made in the next two or three days,” he stressed during a telephone conversation.

Since Baradar’s arrival in Kabul two weeks ago, his meetings with other Afghan politicians have been seen as a sign that he was seeking support beyond the Taliban movement, although it is not clear that they have gone beyond courtesy visits. The actual negotiations on the composition of the Executive are taking place in Kandahar under the leadership of the supreme leader of the group, the maulana Hibatullah Akhundzada. Several Taliban leaders take it for granted that he will be the highest authority of the state, without adopting the republican position of president either.

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According to Zaland, “the government will only include members of the Taliban movement and will have 25 ministries.” It will also have an Advisory Council (Shura), made up of 12 ulama. Subsequently, a Loya Jirga, or traditional Grand Assembly, would be convened, in which notables and representatives of Afghan society will debate a Constitution and the structure of the future regime.

The images of preparations in the presidential palace that began to circulate last Wednesday anticipated the imminence of the announcement. Some sources set the time after the prayer at noon on Friday. “They keep negotiating; It was all very fast because no one, not even the Taliban, expected Kabul to surrender so soon. They were not prepared ”, justifies Zaland. Other interlocutors point to a tug of war for the distribution of power. “Each faction wants control of several provinces, but Afghanistan has 34 and 80 would be needed to satisfy all of them,” exemplifies a Pakistani analyst.

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Taliban leaders are wary of including politicians who held positions in the administration of the fled Ashraf Ghani in the Executive. According to the Pakistani source, they will not count on those, like Abdullah Abdullah and former President Hamid Karzai, who put themselves at the service of a peaceful transition. “They are too associated with the US intervention and it would be impossible to manage so many egos,” he explains with the conviction that “they will give more autonomy to the provincial governors.”

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There is great international expectation to know the composition of the government that is announced as provisional. A first clue about their inclinations will be the distribution of power between the political sector, which under Baradar negotiated the withdrawal of the United States in Doha, and the military commanders. The main focus is on the weight of Mohammad Yaqub, son of the late cleric Omar (founder of the group and its top leader when the North American intervention occurred in 2001), and Sirajuddin Haqqani, who heads one of its most extreme branches. .

In Western diplomatic and intelligence circles, the weight that Haqqani has acquired since August 15 is concerned. “It has taken control of Kabul and much of northeast Afghanistan,” says a source. Unlike the Taliban, the United States considers the Haqqani Network a terrorist organization, as the militia that Sirajuddin inherited from his father, Jalaluddin, is known, and offers rewards to anyone who helps capture its leaders.

And the women? Zaland believes that the international community does not care as much as it says. “Saudi Arabia does not have any in the Government and nothing happens. The West looks above all at its interests and that first translates into cooperation against the Islamic State, something the Taliban are happy to help with; secondly, regional stability, and, only afterwards, protect the rights of women ”, she declares.

Even so, he is convinced that Islamists will respect the rights of Afghan women and allow them to work in public administrations. “They are half the population and wasting that workforce would be a disaster. They know it, but the rapid fall of Kabul created a lot of panic and it will take some time for them to know how to manage this, ”she responds when the desire to escape the country of tens of thousands of professional women is mentioned.

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“It has been a great change, a revolution. It is normal that it has caused fear. But it has been an unprecedented transition in our history. The expulsion of the Soviets left the country destroyed. The Anglo-Afghan wars, the same. And look at how Syria, Iraq or Libya have been. However, in the ten days it took the Taliban to reach Kabul, only a hundred fighters were killed in combat, according to a person in charge, “he sums up.

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