Four among the 19 leaders were once held by the US at Guantanamo Bay
More than half of the Taliban’s 33-member cabinet in Afghanistan are on the UN Security Council's (UNSC) terrorism blacklist, according to the Counter Extremism Project (CEP).
Among the 19 designated members of the interim government are acting prime minister Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund and Haqqani Network leader Sirajuddin Haqqani, who will serve as acting minister of the interior, a role in which he will have extensive authority over policing and legal matters.
Dr Hans-Jakob Schindler, a senior director of the CEP – an international non-profit policy organization, revealed the matter in a statement.
His findings counter the Taliban’s claims of a new moderate government that will guarantee the rights and safety of its citizens and productively cooperate within the international community.
If recognized by the UN, the Taliban government could potentially receive hundreds of millions of dollars in aid that could instead be allocated towards terrorist activities, the CEP said.
“The Taliban interim government is dominated by individuals that the UN Security Council has designated and placed on its terrorism blacklist—a clear indication that the Taliban’s government will not advocate for a more moderate platform.
“These are not reformed leaders. The United Nations would be doing itself a great disservice should it recognize a Taliban regime that has not changed its behavior or positions since the 1990s,” said Schindler.
The interim cabinet also includes four of the five leaders known as the “Taliban Five” who were once held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay.
They include Deputy Defense Minister Fazl Mohammad Mazloom, Information and Culture Minister Khairullah Khairkhwa, Borders and Tribal Affairs Minister Mullah Nurullah Nuri, and Intelligence Director Mullah Abdul Haq Wassiq. The fifth member of the group, Mohammad Nabi Omari, has been appointed as governor of eastern Khost Province.