Taliban Acting Finance Minister Becomes Central Bank Governor
KABUL (Reuters) – The Taliban administration’s former acting finance minister, Mullah Hidayatullah Badri, has been appointed as governor of Afghanistan’s central bank, a finance ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.
Badri, who acted as the Taliban’s finance minister and oversaw budgets after they regained power in 2021, had already taken up his new role, finance ministry spokesman Ahmad Wali Haqmal told Reuters.
The reason for the appointment and who would replace Badri at the finance ministry were not immediately clear. His predecessor as central bank governor was Haji Mohammad Idris.
Badri was head of the economic commission of the Islamic Emirate, as the Taliban refer to their government, as they conducted a 20-year insurgency against the former Western-backed government of Afghanistan, according to Taliban officials. In that time he ran most of the Taliban’s fundraising, they say.
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Afghanistan’s central bank appointments have been closely watched by Washington, which froze billions of the bank’s reserves held in the US and later transferred half of the money to a trust fund in Switzerland overseen by US, Swiss and Afghan trustees.
One of several proposed US conditions on considering letting the central bank access the funds has been replacement of senior Taliban members at the institution with experienced professionals. The aim would be to build confidence in the central bank being insulated from political interference.
(Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield; Editing by Bradley Perrett)
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