The Graphic Truth: Who runs the Taliban?

The Taliban have been in control of Afghanistan for a full year. But before they took over, they had a shadow government operating across vast swaths of the country, complete with a justice, policing, and tax system. After the US left, and the democratic Afghan government fled, the Taliban didn’t take long to form an “interim” government not just in Kabul but also their own “spiritual” capital of Kandahar. Today, the regime is split, with the all-important religious leadership residing in Kandahar, and the more bureaucratic, hands-on cadres in Kabul. And this comes with its political divides as well: recently the Kandahar-based supreme leader vetoed Kabul’s decision to let girls return to schools. We list the leading who’s who of the Taliban regime.

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