Saturday, January 28, 2023

Afghanistan Taliban deny that Mullah Hasan Akhund has been replaced

Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denied that Prime Minister Mullah Hasan Akhund had been removed.

Earlier in the day, social media reported that Taliban Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar had replaced Akhund. Mujahid then stated in a tweet that any reshuffle of the prime minister or changes in the cabinet were untrue.

“Nothing has changed in the Islamic Emirate cabinet or elsewhere,” he continued.

The Taliban named Akhund as their new leader in September. Akhund was previously the head of the Taliban’s Rehbari Shura, or leadership council. He is from Kandahar and is claimed to be one of the movement’s founders.

The rumours of Akhund’s replacement arose when China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived unannounced in Kabul on Thursday morning.

The visit comes a week before Beijing hosts a two-day conference on how to aid the Taliban government on March 30-31. After the Taliban took over, Pakistan and Iran hosted similar meetings.

The two sides are likely to discuss China’s role in stabilising and developing war-torn Afghanistan.

Read more: Former Afghan finance minister Khalid Payenda now an Uber driver in US

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