Conflicts & War

Taliban demand removal of its leaders from UN blacklist

Kabul, Sep 9 (EFE).- The Taliban demanded Thursday the removal of its leaders from the UN and US blacklists, criticized unfavorable comments made against members of the new government in Afghanistan.

“We urge that these incorrect policies be immediately reversed through diplomatic interactions,” read a statement by the Taliban, which seized power in the country with the take over of Kabul on Aug.15.

More than a dozen members of the Taliban’s interim Cabinet announced Tuesday are on the United Nations Security Council terror blacklist, many of them with arrest warrants issued by US agencies.

Among them is 48-year-old Sirajuddin Haqqani, who has a $10 million bounty for information that leads to his capture, and who was named as the new interior minister.

He is the head of one of the most feared insurgent groups in Afghanistan, the Haqqani network, founded by his father, Jalaluddin Haqqani, to fight the Soviet invasion in the 1980s.

The group, designated as a terrorist organization by the US, became associated with the Taliban when the Islamist group came to power in 1996, and is behind some of the bloodiest attacks on Afghan territory.

“Pentagon officials have remarked that some cabinet members of the Islamic Emirate (as the Taliban call themselves) or family members of late Haqqani Sahib (…) are on the US blacklists and still targets,” the statement underlined.

“The Islamic Emirate considers this position a clear violation of the Doha Agreement which is neither in the interest of the United States nor Afghanistan,” it added referring to the deal signed on February 2020 between Washington and the Islamists for the withdrawal of international troops from the Asian country.

For the Taliban, “the family of honorable Haqqani Sahib is part of Islamic Emirate and does not have a separate name or organizational setup.”

“Similarly, in Doha Agreement all officials of the Islamic Emirate without any exception were part of interaction with the US and should have been removed from the UN and US blacklists, a demand which still remains valid,” it remarked.

A former Afghan government official told EFE on condition of anonymity that about 15 members of the new Taliban cabinet are on the UN and US blacklists, including acting Prime Minister Mullah Hassan Akhund.

“They are not only a threat to the security of Afghanistan but to the security of the region and world countries,” said the former official.

The appointment of the new cabinet led to criticism from the international community over the presence of hardline leaders and those considered terrorist threats.

“That America and other countries are making such provocative statements and trying to meddle the internal affairs of Afghanistan, the Islamic Emirate condemns it in the strongest terms,” said the Taliban statement. EFE


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