THE acting Afghan foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, has temporarily taken over the charge of deputy prime minister, according to Islamic Emirate’s Spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid.

The incumbent political deputy prime minister, Maulvi Abdul Kabir, has not been attending meetings for almost three months.

Mr Mujahid told TOLOnews that the political deputy prime minister is ill and Mr Muttaqi will temporarily take over his duties. “Following up on domestic and foreign policy have been entrusted to the minister of foreign affairs, and the head of the political deputy PM’s office should carry out the other work and activities,” TOLOnews reported while quoting Mr Mujahid.

Hassan Haqyar, the media directorate head at the deputy PM office, hoped Mr Kabir “will return to his duties in the coming days”. He had been participating in consultations and advising the government but did not visit his office because the doctors advised him to rest, Mr Haqyar was quoted by TOLOnews as saying. Mr Kabir’s last public appearance was on Sept 4 when he met with the then-Turkish ambassador to Afghanistan.

Maulvi Abdul Kabir has not attended meetings since September due to prolonged illness

Afghan sources said the deputy prime minister’s presence in meetings with representatives of countries is beneficial and urged the government to come clear on the officials’ attendance and absence.

 Amir Khan Muttaqi
Amir Khan Muttaqi

At different events and conferences such as on Climate Change, Teacher’s Day, the opening of the Qosh Tapa Canal, the 14th round of police forces graduation ceremony and cabinet meetings, the political deputy of the prime minister was not present and no pictures of him were broadcast. Mr Haqyar had then claimed, “The political deputy of the prime minister was sick and is currently in Kabul at his residence. He has recovered and will soon return to his job.”

“I hope the Islamic Emirate shares with the nation every issue, including changes and meetings, travel abroad and inside … so that some propaganda and worries will be remo­ved,” Kamran Aman, told TOLOnews.

Published in Dawn, November 27th, 2023

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