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Taliban authorities in Afghanistan have dissolved five key departments of the former US-backed government, including the country’s human rights commission, deeming them useless in the face of a financial crisis, an official said.

Afghanistan faced a budget shortfall of 44 billion Afghans ($501 million) this fiscal year, Taliban authorities said as they announced their first annual national budget since taking power last August.

“Because these departments were not deemed necessary and were not included in the budget, they were dissolved,” said Innamullah Samangani, deputy spokesman for the Taliban government.

The High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), the former National Security Council, as well as the commission responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Afghan constitution, have also been dissolved.

The HCNR was led by former Afghan President Abdullah Abdullah and worked to broker a peace between the US-backed government of former President Ashraf Ghani and the then insurgent Taliban.

In August 2021, 20 years after invading Afghanistan, foreign forces withdrew, leading to government collapse and a Taliban takeover.

Samangani said the national budget was “based on objective facts” and intended only for departments that had been active and productive.

He added that the bodies could be reactivated in the future “if necessary”.

After taking power in 2021, the Taliban assured the world that they would be more moderate. However, they have not yet allowed older girls to resume their studies and have also introduced rules that require women and girls to wear the veil and require them to be accompanied by male relatives in public places.

theguardian Gt

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