Taliban officials adamant their administration is ‘inclusive’

A senior Taliban official on Monday responded to calls for the formation of an inclusive government by asserting that their administration is not “all-inclusive” but “Afghan-inclusive” and that “all Afghans are represented.”

Muhaajir Farahi, Taliban’s deputy minister of information and culture, made the remarks during an event titled “Peaceful Nation and Responsible System” in Takhar province in northeastern Afghanistan.

“We all are Muslims and then Afghans. Everyone says you don’t have an inclusive government. We admit that we don’t have inclusive government but we do have Afghan-inclusive government,” Muhajir said, reiterating that they have people from various provinces in their cabinet.

These remarks come amid ongoing criticism of the limited representation of non-Pashtun ethnic groups in the Taliban’s cabinet. Currently, there are only four non-Pashtun ministers.

At the same gathering, the chief of the Taliban’s army Qari Fasihuddin Fitrat called on the international community to refrain from interfering in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.

However, Takhar residents raised concerns about the Taliban’s ban on girls’ education and many urged the ministry to organize scientific conferences for women.

The United Nations Security Council has in the past characterized the Taliban-led government as Pashtun-centric.

Many Taliban critics have also accused the Taliban of having ethnically biased policies and erasing other ethnic groups from power.

The Taliban, however, has denied the claims, stating that all people of Afghanistan are represented in its government.

Since the Taliban swept to power in August 2021, no country has officially recognized Afghanistan.

The international community has emphasized the importance of establishing an inclusive government and respecting the rights of women and girls as conditions for recognizing the Taliban-led administration.