Taliban’s Interior Minister Receives Over 4 Billion Afs in 11 Months As Operational Fund

Monday, 11/20/2023

A credible source at the Taliban’s Prime Minister’s office revealed to Afghanistan International that Sirajuddin Haqqani, the Taliban's interior minister, received nearly four billion afghanis as "operational fund" in the last 11 months.

This is in addition to the ministry's standard and development budgets.

The source added that the group’s finance minister was dismissed from his position due to the tension with Haqqani over this budget.

Sources informed the Pashto section of Afghanistan International that the Taliban's Ministry of Interior received around four billion Afs as operational funds in five stages, in addition to its regular and developmental budgets.

During the previous governments, operative money was given by the president to a number of government officials whose purpose was to expand influence, attract loyalty and give financial concessions to influential ethnic, political and intelligence figures.

The source revealed that in early 2023, a dispute over funds beyond the allocated budget arose between Sirajuddin Haqqani and Hidayatullah Badri, the Taliban's then finance minister. The tension prompted the intervention of Hibatullah Akhundzada, the group's leader, ultimately resulting in Badri's resignation from the Ministry of Finance.

Badri was later appointed as the head of the Central Bank of Taliban.

The source said, "Hidayatullah Badri was also unhappy with the unreasonable request for fund from Mullah Hibatullah’s office and criticised it. However, the tension with Haqqani caused him to be dismissed from the Ministry of Finance.”

Following Badri's dismissal, a source in the Ministry of Finance disclosed that the financial requests from the Taliban's Interior Minister were swiftly executed. Additionally, individuals favoured by Haqqani were appointed to various directorates within the Ministry of Finance.

The information shows that the budget for Taliban’s high-ranking offices is not transparent. A source in the Ministry of Finance said that the allocation and receipt of money by the offices of Mullah Hibatullah, Mullah Hasan Akhund, the group’s prime minister, Haqqani and Taliban Defense Minister Mullah Yaqoob are completely confidential and there is no supervision over it.

According to the source, a number of other high-ranking officials of the Taliban also receive money every month. A source close to the Taliban's interior minister also confirmed the receipt of operational fund and said that officials such as Mullah Yaqoob and Abdul Haq Wasiq, the head of the Taliban's intelligence, are receiving out of budget funds.

He said that Haqqani paid money to tribal elders, civil activists and journalists during his provincial trips. A reporter told the Pashto section of Afghanistan International that Haqqani had given between 20,000 to 50,000 Afs to a number of people during one of his trips to Khost province.

The spokesperson of the Taliban's Ministry of Interior did not respond to Afghanistan International's questions regarding the operational fund.

During the former government, the president provided operational funds to ministers, governors, parliament and senate speakers, and other officials. The exact amount of this money remains undisclosed due to its confidential nature, but reports suggest it ranged between 500,000 to 3,000,000 Afs.

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