The hitherto First Vice President of Afghanistan, Amrullah Saleh, declared himself on Tuesday as the legitimate interim president of the country, appealing to the Afghan Constitution. Saleh has pointed out that “according to the Constitution of Afghanistan, in the event of the absence, flight, resignation or death of the president, the first vice president becomes the interim president.”
“I am currently in my country and I am the legitimate interim president,” Saleh adds in his profile on the social network Twitter. By this same means, the president has spent hours commenting on the events that the country is experiencing. “Never, never and under no circumstances will I bow to the Taliban terrorists (…), I will never be under their same roof.”
Saleh, in addition, has criticized the decision of the United States to maintain the withdrawal of the troops that for the last 20 years had contained the Taliban militias: “It is useless to argue with the president of the United States now. Let him assimilate it. We will. We Afghans must show that Afghanistan is not Vietnam and that the Taliban are not even remotely like the Vietcong. Unlike the US and NATO, we have not lost spirit and we see enormous opportunities ahead. The useless warnings are over. JOIN THE RESISTANCE “.
Amrullah Saleh, 48, a member of the Tajik minority, is known for his belligerence against the Taliban who, he himself declared in 1996, tortured his sister. After the attacks of September 11, 2001, Saleh – then part of the anti-Taliban resistance – became a key asset for the CIA, according to AFP.
This relationship paved the way for him to lead the newly created Afghan intelligence agency, the National Security Directorate (NDS), in 2004. It is believed that, as head of the NDS, Saleh amassed a wide network of informants and spies within the insurgency and across the border in Pakistan, where Pashtun-speaking agents were tracking Taliban leaders. The information Saleh collected provided what he claimed was proof that the Pakistani military continued to support the Taliban.
“There will be no revenge”
Saleh’s statements have coincided in time with the first televised press conference by a Taliban spokesman, who has answered questions from the media, assuming that they are now in charge of the country. The Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, wanting to offer a moderate and dialoguing image, has said that they are working on the formation of a government that will include women.
In addition, he added that the situation is not the same now as 20 years ago and that they will forgive all those who fought against the Taliban in the past: “There will be no revenge.” “We do not want internal or external enemies.” The Taliban spokesman has also said that they are “committed to women’s rights under Islamic law.”
He has also affirmed that the Taliban control all the country’s land borders and that the situation is one of “absolute security.” “Nobody is being assassinated”, has said and has affirmed that “from now Afghanistan is a country free of narcotics”, in reference to the cultivation of opium, one of the main sources of income of the country.