Atlanta, United States (CNN) — Pakistani officials told CNN they expect Taliban leader Hebatullah Akhundzada to be named “head of state and commander-in-chief” in the movement’s new government in Afghanistan.
Hebatullah has not been seen in public since he became the leader or emir of the Taliban in 2016. He is originally from Pakistan’s Balochistan province and was a deputy to former Taliban leader Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, who was killed in a US drone strike in 2016.
According to Pakistani officials, discussions are continuing on other positions. Mullah Agha has been nominated for the position of finance minister, but officials say Sirajuddin Haqqani – the leader of the powerful Haqqani network – is also “interested” in the position.
However, both men are subject to international sanctions, and Pakistani officials say they understand that the Taliban will refrain from appointing anyone under international sanctions as a member of the cabinet.
The officials also told CNN that Muhammad Yaqoub and Abdul Qayyum Zaqar – the two deputy Taliban leaders since 2016 – are eyeing the position of defense minister. Yaqoub is the son of the founder of the Taliban and the movement’s first emir, Mullah Omar. Zager was detained in Guantanamo Bay.
Pakistani officials say there is an agreement in Kabul that Sadr Ibrahim will be the new interior minister.
A new ministry called the Kabul Affairs Ministry will be formed to handle the affairs of the capital, according to Pakistani officials who spoke to CNN.
It is not known when the government will be announced. While Taliban spokesmen said that the announcement of a transitional government was imminent.