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Updated on: Tuesday, August 17, 2021, 08:25 PM IST

'JOIN THE RESISTANCE': Afghanistan's first VP Amrullah Saleh declares himself 'legitimate' caretaker president

'JOIN THE RESISTANCE': Afghanistan's first VP Amrullah Saleh declares himself 'legitimate' caretaker president | Photo: AFP

'JOIN THE RESISTANCE': Afghanistan's first VP Amrullah Saleh declares himself 'legitimate' caretaker president | Photo: AFP

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Afghanistan’s first vice president Amrullah Saleh on Tuesday took to Twitter and declared himself as the "legitimate caretaker president" of the war-torn country. Citing the provisions of the Constitution of Afghanistan, Saleh said that the first vice president automatically becomes the caretaker president in the event of the president’s absence, escape or resignation.

"Clarity: As per d constitution of Afg, in absence, escape, resignation or death of the President the FVP becomes the caretaker President. I am currently inside my country & am the legitimate care taker President. Am reaching out to all leaders to secure their support & consensus," he tweeted.

In another tweet, Amrullah Saleh said it is now futile to argue with United States President Joe Biden. He further asked fellow Afghans to "JOIN THE RESISTANCE" and said they haven't lost their spirit like the US and NATO.

"It is futile to argue with @POTUS on Afg now. Let him digest it. We d Afgs must prove tht Afgh isn't Vietnam & the Talibs aren't even remotely like Vietcong. Unlike US/NATO we hvn't lost spirit & see enormous oprtnities ahead. Useless caveats are finished. JOIN THE RESISTANCE," he tweeted.

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Earlier on Monday, the defiant VP had made it clear that he will not surrender even as the Taliban seized control of the capital following the collapse of the government.

"I will never, ever & under no circumstances bow to d Talib terrorists. I will never betray d soul & legacy of my hero Ahmad Shah Masoud, the commander, the legend & the guide. I won't dis-appoint millions who listened to me. I will never be under one ceiling with Taliban. NEVER," he tweeted.

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Meanwhile, the Taliban declared an "amnesty" across Afghanistan and urged women to join their government on Tuesday, seeking to convince a wary population that they have changed a day after deadly chaos gripped the main airport as desperate crowds tried to flee their rule.

Following a blitz across Afghanistan that saw many cities fall to the insurgents without a fight, the Taliban have sought to portray themselves as more moderate than when they imposed a brutal rule in the late 1990s. But many Afghans remain skeptical.

While there were no major reports of abuses or fighting in the capital of Kabul as the Taliban now patrol its streets, many residents have stayed home and remain fearful after the insurgents' takeover saw prisons emptied and armories looted.

The promises of amnesty from Enamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban's cultural commission, were the first comments on how the Taliban might govern on a national level. His remarks remained vague, however, as the Taliban are still negotiating with political leaders of the country's fallen government and no formal handover deal has been announced.

"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan with full dignity and honesty has announced a complete amnesty for all Afghanistan, especially those who were with the opposition or supported the occupiers for years and recently," he said.

Other Taliban leaders have said they won't seek revenge on those who worked with the Afghan government or foreign countries. But some in Kabul allege Taliban fighters have lists of people who cooperated with the government and are seeking them out.

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Samangani also described women as "the main victims of the more than 40 years of crisis in Afghanistan." "The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan doesn't want the women to be the victims anymore," he said.

"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is ready to provide women with environment to work and study, and the presence of women in different (government) structures according to Islamic law and in accordance with our cultural values."

This would be a marked departure from the last time the Taliban were in power, when women were largely confined to their homes. However, Samangani didn't describe exactly what he meant by Islamic law, implying people already knew the rules. He added that "all sides should join" the government.

(With AP inputs)

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Published on: Tuesday, August 17, 2021, 08:25 PM IST
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