After US' shambolic withdrawal from Afghanistan, US President Joe Biden on Tuesday, said that the US will 'wait and watch' as the Taliban announced its 33-member cabinet in its interim government. Allaying fears that China will now fund the Taliban, Biden claimed that 'China has a real problem with the Taliban'. The new Afghan cabinet will be headed by Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund while Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar will be his deputy, the group's spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said.
When asked if he fears China will fund the Taliban now, Biden said, "China has a real problem with the Taliban. They try to work out some of that with the Taliban, I am sure. As does Pakistan, as does Russia, as does Iran".
"They are all trying to figure out what do they do now. So let's wait and see what happens. It will be interesting see what happens," he said in response to a question on the announcement of the formation of the new interim government in Kabul by the Taliban, to reporters at the White House. While US has not recognised the new Taliban government, China, Russia, Pakistan, Iran and Qatar have shown inclination to do so.
On Tuesday, Taliban announced the government of the 'Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan', naming Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund, the head of the Taliban's powerful decision-making body 'Rehbari Shura' as its interim Prime Minister. He will be accompanied by Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar as his deputy, Sirajuddin Haqqani as interior minister, Mohammad Yaqoob, the eldest son of the Taliban founder Mohammad Omar, as Minister of Defense. Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said, " we are trying to include people from all parts of the country in the government", as internal rifts between the three Taliban factions came to the forefront.
With ISI Chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed in Kabul, Mujahid denied any involvement of Pakistan in finalising the new government saying, "We won't allow that to happen (involvement). We fought for our country and Islam for the past 20 years". Meanwhile, Taliban's secretive supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada, who has never been seen in public, issued a statement announcing that the newly appointed government will uphold Sharia Law.
The Taliban took over Kabul on August 15 after major cities like Kandahar, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad and Lashkar Gah fell without resistance as US troops retreat after 20 years from war-torn Afghanistan. The hasty withdrawal of the US troops saw thousands of people attempting to flee from Afghanistan with several clinging to a departing US plane's wheels, leading to them falling to their deaths. After a bloody fight with the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRFA), Taliban claimed capture of the last province in Afghanistan - Panjshir, taking over the governor's office. NRFA led by 'caretaker' President Amrullah Saleh and Ahmad Massoud has refuted these allegations saying, "NRF forces are present in all strategic positions across the valley to continue the fight".