The former acting finance minister, Mullah Hidayatullah Badri, has been appointed as the governor of the Afghanistan Central Bank, the spokesperson of the finance ministry said on Wednesday.
Finance Ministry spokesman Ahmad Wali Haqmal told Reuters that Mr. Badri has already occupied his new role as the Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) governor. Prior to this, Badir served as the finance minister of the Taliban-run administration since the group’s return to power in August 2021.
His predecessor as the central bank governor was Haji Mohammad Idris, and the reason for Bari’s appointment and who would replace him at the finance ministry is not clear as of now.
Earlier, unconfirmed reports emerged about Badri’s resignation from the finance ministry is believed to be due to disputes over informal cash requests from senior Taliban leaders affiliated with the group’s supreme leader Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada.
The new appointments at Afghanistan’s central bank is closely watched by Washington, which froze billions of the DAB’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 the conditions to release the frozen reserves of Afghanistan’s central bank is the appointment of experienced professionals at the government institutions, which is yet to be seen by the ruling regime.
Since the takeover of Kabul, the Taliban has continuously dismissed former government employees and replaced them with their own members, most of whom have studied at religious schools and madrasas.