The Taliban have announced the formation of a hardline interim government for Afghanistan, with key roles being shared among veterans of the group and their allies in the US-sanctioned Haqqani Network. The lineup of the interim government was announced at a news conference in Kabul by one of the Taliban’s spokesmen. Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, a long-time Taliban member who has been leader of the group’s Shura for about two decades, was named as prime minister. He is seen as an influential and respected on the religious side of the movement, rather than on its military side. His deputy will be Mullah Baradar, the head of the Taliban’s political bureau, who led the Taliban delegation in peace talks in Qatar. Two senior figures in the Haqqani Network, a US-designated terror group aligned with the Taliban and al Qaeda, will be in in the interim government. Both have been sanctioned by the United Nations and the US. Sirajuddin Haqqani, the network’s leader, will be the acting interior minister. Haqqani has been one of two deputy leaders of the Taliban since 2016 and has a $10 million US bounty on his head. Khalil Haqqani, Sirajuddin’s uncle, was appointed as acting minister for refugees. Two other members of the Haqqani clan were also named to positions in the interim government. The other deputy leader of the Taliban, Mullah Yaqoob, has become acting minister of defense. Yaqoob is the son of Mullah Omar, the founder of the Taliban. The announcement of key figures in the caretaker government comes weeks after the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan, and presents the first picture of how their leadership of the country will begin to take shape. “Our government won’t be based on ethnicity. We will not allow this type of politics,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said. A notable omission from the government announcement was any roles within a ministry for women. Zabihullah would only say that the Taliban would be dealing with that issue. The Taliban’s secretive supreme leader on Tuesday told the newly appointed government to uphold sharia law, in his first message since the hardline movement swept to power. “I assure all the countrymen that the figures will work hard towards upholding Islamic rules and sharia law in the country,” Hibatullah Akhundzada, who has never been seen in public, said in a statement released in English. Akhundzada told Afghans that the new leadership would ensure “lasting peace, prosperity and development”, adding that “people should not try to leave the country”. “The Islamic Emirate has no problem with anyone,” he said. “All will take part in strengthening the system and Afghanistan and in this way, we will rebuild our war-torn country.” Akhundzada’s public profile has largely been limited to the release of messages during Islamic holidays, but the group has shed some light on his whereabouts following its takeover of Afghanistan. “He is present in Kandahar,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said after they seized power. Another spokesman had said Akhundzada was due to make a public appearance “soon”.