The Taliban announced the top members of their government on Tuesday, in a move that will cement their power over Afghanistan and set the tone of their new rule just days after a chaotic US troop pullout.
The Islamist hardliners, who swept into Kabul on August 15 following a lightning offensive that decimated the former Afghan army, had pledged a more "inclusive" brand of rule than in their first stint in power in 1996-2001.
They have nonetheless made it clear that they will stamp out any insurgency, and on Tuesday they fired shots into the air to disperse hundreds of people who had gathered at several rallies in Kabul in a sign of defiance against a movement remembered for their brutal and oppressive rule.
On Tuesday evening, chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told a press conference that the new government would be an interim one, and that Taliban veteran Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund would serve as its new acting prime minister.
He had served as deputy foreign minister under the Taliban's old regime, and is on a UN blacklist.
Mujahid also said that Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar will be the deputy leader. Previously he served as the head of his movement's political office, overseeing the signing in 2020 of the US withdrawal agreement.
Here are the LIVE updates on the Afghanistan Crisis:
Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, a lesser known Taliban leader who is on the UN terror list, will lead a new 'acting' government in Afghanistan. Akhund and other names were finalized after Pak ISI Chief Faiz Hameed visited Afghanistan last weekend. Read more here.
Hundreds of Kabul residents came out on the streets today in protest against what they said was meddling by Pakistan in Afghanistan's affairs, three weeks after the Taliban takeover. In videos shared by local journalists on social media, the crowds were heard shouting slogans like "death to Pakistan", "we don't want a Pakistani puppet government" and "Pakistan, leave Afghanistan", among others. Read more
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday that the Taliban renewed promises to let Afghans leave freely amid concern over blocked chartered flights.
Turkey said on Tuesday there was "no need to rush" in recognising the Taliban's rule in Afghanistan, adding that Ankara was still holding discussions about operating Kabul's strategic airport.
When the Taliban swept into Kabul last month, capturing Afghanistan's capital without a fight, the sheer speed of the collapse of the Western-backed and trained army stunned the world.
78 people including Afghan nationals, who were evacuated from Afghanistan after Kabul fell to Taliban last month, have been discharged from an ITBP facility in Delhi after they completed a 14-day quarantine rule in place to check the spread of Covid.
The Taliban fired shots in the air Tuesday to disperse dozens of people protesting in Kabul against Pakistan's involvement in Afghan affairs, AFP staff at the scene reported.
Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, a lesser known Taliban leader who is on a UN terror list, could be the next Prime Minister of Afghanistan as the Taliban tries to settle on a compromise candidate amid disagreements.
Taliban spokesperson Ahmadullah Muttaki on Tuesday said that preparations for the announcement of the new Afghanistan government's formation have been completed, Sputnik reported.
The Taliban have prohibited Afghan news media from circulating the message of Ahmad Massoud, the leader of Panjshir National Resistance Front (NRF) who called for a "national uprising" against the Taliban, Sputnik reported on Monday.
The Afghan soil should not be a source of spreading terrorism in other countries of the region and both Russia, India have "common concerns" over it in the backdrop of the unfolding situation in Afghanistan, Russian Ambassador Nikolay Kudashev said.
Afghan activist Omaid Sharifi's art collective spent seven years transforming stretches of Kabul's labyrinthine concrete blast walls with colourful murals -- then the Taliban marched in.
Universities in Kabul were almost empty on the first day of the Afghan school year, as professors and students wrestled with the Taliban's restrictive new rules for the classroom. The Taliban have promised a softer rule than during their first stint in power from 1996-2001, when women's freedoms in Afghanistan were sharply curtailed and they were banned from higher education. Read more
The United States has evacuated four Americans from Afghanistan, a State Department official said on Monday, in the first US-facilitated overland evacuation since the pullout from the war-torn country, US media reported.
The Union Home Ministry has taken away powers of Foreigners' Regional Registration Office by which they could ask any Afghan national to leave India, in the backdrop of the unstable situation in Afghanistan.
A relatively lesser known Taliban leader, Mullah Hassan Akhund, seen as a "lightweight" and who is on a UN terror list, could be the unlikely choice as the next Prime Minister of Afghanistan.
Private universities resumed functioning in Afghanistan on Monday with the Taliban - which has promised a more moderate government, including assurances of human rights - allowing female students to attend classes.