Taliban PM asks for ‘gratitude’ in first speech

Muhammad Hassan Akhund (file photo) © BELGAIMAGE

Nearly three months after his appointment, the head of the Taliban government in Afghanistan, Muhammad Hassan Akhund, addressed his countrymen for the first time. State television broadcast a recorded audio message on Saturday evening. In his speech, Akhund called on Afghans to be grateful for Taliban rule.

Source: Belgian

In mid-August, the Taliban captured the Afghan capital, Kabul. After the NATO forces withdrew, Islamic rebels regained power once again in the Asian country. In early September, the Taliban appointed a transitional government led by Mullah Akhund.

Akhund said in his speech that the Taliban fulfilled their promises by continuing their fight against foreign forces to form an Islamic government and stabilize the country. He claimed that the famine, unemployment and high prices that now plagued the country predated the rebels’ takeover.

The Prime Minister added that the economic crisis could be resolved if the Central Bank of Afghanistan’s $9 billion reserves were released. Most of these are parked in the US.

When the new Afghan government was formed, the international community called on the Taliban to form a representative team of ministers and to respect human and women’s rights. Akhund has now asserted that his government is open to everyone and that women’s rights are respected. However, in the current government, more than 90 percent belong to one ethnic group, with no women participating.

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