Taliban officials in Afghanistan dissolved five key departments of the former US-backed government, including the country’s Human Rights Commission, deemed unnecessary in the face of a financial crisis, an official said on Monday.
Afghanistan is facing a budget deficit of 44 billion Afghans ($501 million) this fiscal year, Taliban officials said on Saturday, as they announced their first annual national budget since taking over the war-torn country last August. .
“Since these departments were not deemed essential and were not included in the budget, they have been disbanded,” Taliban government deputy spokesman Innamullah Samangani told Reuters.
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The High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), the once-high-powered National Security Council, and the Commission to oversee the implementation of the Afghan Constitution were also dissolved.
The HCNR was led by former Afghan President Abdullah Abdullah, and was working for peace talks between the US-backed government of former President Ashraf Ghani and the then-rebel Taliban.
In August 2021, 20 years after invading Afghanistan, foreign forces withdrew from the country, leading to the fall of the government and the takeover of the Taliban.
Samangani said that the national budget was “based on objective facts” and was meant only for those departments which were proactive and productive.
He said the bodies could be reactivated “if needed” in the future.
The Taliban ruled Afghanistan with an iron fist from 1996 to 2001 and implemented a harsher version of the Islamic regime, which included banning women from education and work. After taking power last year, the Taliban assured the world they would be more liberal.
However, he has yet to allow older girls to resume education, and has also introduced rules that mandate women and girls to wear the veil and require male relatives to accompany them in public places.
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