IEA quashes rumours of Baradar replacing Akhund as PM

KABUL (Agencies): Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denied rumours that Afghan Prime Minister Mullah Hasan Akhund had been replaced by his deputy, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. Mujahid said in a tweet that “there has been no change in the cabinet of the Islamic Emirate or anywhere else”.
Earlier in the day, rumours started circulating about a cabinet reshuffle and Baradar’s appointment. The rumours of Akhund being replaced emerged after China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived in Kabul. A short while later the IEA confirmed that Russia’s special envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov was also in Afghanistan.
Earlier, the IEA meanwhile confirmed that a special cabinet meeting, chaired by their Supreme Leader Haibatullah Akhundzada, took place in Kandahar province this week and lasted for three days. The IEA said the meeting was attended by Prime Minister Mullah Hassan Akhund, his deputies, ministers, department heads and organization representatives including IEA spokesmen and other officials. A wide range of issues were discussed, the IEA said.
“In general in order to better advance all government affairs, necessary guidance was given and important decisions were made in the meeting,” the IEA stated. Haibatullah also gave specific instructions to the relevant departments on implementing Islamic law in the country in order to maintain security.
The Economic Commission, chaired by Abdul Ghani Baradar, first deputy prime minister, was tasked with attracting domestic and foreign investment for the country’s economic growth and prosperity; also with the task of electricity generation, road construction and proper mining; planning for all economic projects and creating possible facilities. “An Administrative Commission headed by Mawlawi Abdul Salam Hanafi, Deputy Prime Minister, tasked to take the necessary steps to reform the administrative systems and solve problems in the financial and other sectors, and then to share it with the leadership,” the IEA stated.
Also, in the cabinet meeting, instructions were given about rounding up and treating drug addicts and preventing the purchase and sale of drugs in the country. The statement further said that the Supreme Leader instructed all ministers, officials, and relevant departments to protect weapons, vehicles, and other government equipment, and to be careful with the national treasury.
“If he can, he will determine a salary for each Afghan, both men and women, because he understands the problems and issues of his poor nation.” “However, since the Islamic Emirate is still economically weak, the people must cooperate with their system, try to collect tithes and zakat and spend it properly, and the institutions must refrain from extravagance and excessive spending,” Haibatullah said, as quoted in the statement.