Afghan Vice President Saleh declares himself Caretaker President

Afghan vice president Amrullah Saleh said on Twitter on Tuesday he is in Afghanistan and is the “legitimate caretaker president”. Saleh had said after a security meeting chaired by then President Ashraf Ghani last week that he was proud of the armed forces and the government would do all it could to strengthen resistance to the Taliban.

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, who left the country on Sunday, said he left Kabul to avoid bloodshed and a “big human disaster” in the city of six million people, urging the Taliban to reveal their intentions and reassure the people who are unsure about their future after the insurgents took over the war-torn country. Taking to Twitter, Amrullah Saleh cited protocols mentioned in the Constitution of Afghanistan, as per which in case of absence, escape, resignation, or death of the serving President, the Former Vice President becomes the caretaker President. “I am currently inside my country and am the legitimate caretaker President,” Saleh wrote, reaching out to all leaders to secure their support and consensus. Saleh called on anti-Taliban groups to join the “resistance”, saying they have not lost spirit unlike the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (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.

Saleh has not accepted the takeover by the Taliban, saying he will never be under “one ceiling” with the Islamist fundamentalists. On Sunday, Ashraf Ghani’s former deputy said he’ll never betray the “soul” and “legacy of my hero Ahmad Shah Masoud”, the late Afghan politician and military commander who fought against the Soviet occupation between 1979 and 1989.