Amrullah Saleh, who was vice-president and now claims to be the acting president of Afghanistan, said on Thursday said that nations must respect the rule of law, and not violence. He made the statement four days after the Taliban took over Afghanistan.
Saleh was responding on Twitter to Michael Johns, a former White House official. “Afghanistan is too big for Pakistan to swallow and too big for Talibs to govern,” Saleh said. “Don’t let your histories have a chapter on humiliation and bowing to terror groups.”
In another tweet, the former Afghan vice-president said he salutes “those who carry the national flag and thus stand for dignity of the nation and the country”.
The Taliban on Sunday took control of Afghanistan, entering the presidential palace in the capital of Kabul and ending an insurgent offensive that ripped through the country in the preceding days. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country on the same day and is now in the United Arab Emirates.
On Tuesday, Saleh had claimed that in Ghani’s absence he was the “legitimate care taker president” of the country according to the Constitution. He also said that he was in Afghanistan and was reaching out to all leaders to secure their support and consensus.
The former Afghan vice-president’s whereabouts are currently unknown. However, he is believed to have retreated to the Panjshir Valley, which has not been captured by the Taliban yet, according to AFP.
Zahir Aghbar, the Afghan ambassador to Tajikistan, told Reuters on Wednesday that he cannot say that Taliban have won the war in the country. “No, it was just Dr Ashraf Ghani who gave up power after treacherous talks with the Taliban,” he remarked.
“And only Panjshir resists, led by Vice President Amrullah Saleh,” he added.
Waheedullah Hashimi, a senior leader of the Taliban, on Wednesday told Reuters that Afghanistan may be governed by a ruling council headed by Taliban supreme leader Haibatullah Akhundzada. He said that the country will not be a democracy under the Taliban, but will be governed by the Sharia, or Islamic law.
On Tuesday, the Taliban told a press conference that no threat will be posed to any country from Afghanistan. A spokesperson for the militant group added that they would not seek revenge from anyone, including the ousted officials of the Afghanistan government, and the country’s security forces.