Afghanistan’s First Vice President Amrullah Saleh declared himself as the legitimate caretaker President of Afghanistan on Tuesday, 17 August 2021. Saleh announced that he is in the country and vowed a new fight with the Taliban.

The former Afghan Vice President tweeted saying, “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 also tweeted, “In my soil. With d people. For a cause & purpose. With solid belief in righteousness. Opposing Pak bcked oppression & brutal dictatorship is our legitimacy.”

His tweet further read, “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 caretaker President. Am reaching out to all leaders to secure their support & consensus.”

Amrullah Saleh tweeted this on August 15 before going underground. His remarks came shortly before the Taliban addressed their first press conference after overthrowing the Ghani government.

Can Amrullah Saleh hold up against the Taliban?

•The former Vice-President had been spotted with the son of his former mentor and famed anti-Taliban fighter Ahmed Shah Massoud.

•Ahmed Shah Massoud’s son commands a militia force and they appear to be putting together a guerilla movement to take on the Taliban insurgents. 

•The regrouping of fighters is reportedly taking place in Panjshir — a mountainous redoubt tucked into the Hindu Kush.

•The Panjshir Valley, famed for its natural defence, had not fallen to the Taliban during the civil war of the 1990s. It had not even been conquered by the Soviets before that. 

•The residents of Panjshir have determined to resist the Taliban with all their might and power. 

•The battle would be the latest in Saleh’s long struggle against the Taliban.

Who is Amrullah Saleh?

•Amrullah Saleh formerly served as the fifth first vice president of Afghanistan in 2020.

•He had served as the Minister of Interior Affairs of Afghanistan in 2018 and 2019.

•Before that, he served as the head of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) from 2004 until his resignation in 2010.

•Before that, he was a member of Ahmad Shah Massoud’s Northern Alliance. He was appointed by Massoud to serve as Northern Alliance’s liaison officer inside the Afghan Embassy in Dushanbe, Tajikistan in 1997. 

•Saleh created a pro-democracy and anti-Taliban movement called Basej-e Milli (National Mobilization) in 2010 after resigning from National Directorate of Security.

•He was appointed as State Minister for Security Reforms by President Ashraf Ghani in March 2017 and was appointed as the Interior Minister in December 2018.

•He resigned as the Interior Minister in January 2019 and was appointed as the first Vice President of Afghanistan.


Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani fled to Tajikistan on August 15, 2021. This was followed by the capture of Kabul by Taliban insurgents who took over the presidential palace and claimed that the war was over. 

The Taliban spokesperson said that normalcy would soon be restored in the country and that Afghanistan would no longer remain a battlefield. The Taliban is now poised to form the next government and Abdul Ghani Baradar has been declared as Afghanistan’s new President. 

Taliban has reportedly pardoned all those who fought against them on behalf of the Ghani-led Afghan government and the United States. The group announced that no one will be interrogated and even women will be given their freedom in their new approach. 

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