Who is Amrullah Saleh? Why did he declare himself the new president of Afghanistan?

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Although there is no official confirmation of Amrullah Saleh’s whereabouts, it appears that he has retreated to Afghanistan in the Panjshir Valley northeast of Kabul, which remains free from Taliban rule.

Amrullah Saleh swears he will not

Amrullah Saleh. Image: FishInWater / Wikimedia Commons

Afghanistan’s first vice president, Amrullah Saleh, added a new twist to the ongoing crisis and claimed to be interim president after Ashraf Ghani fled the war-torn country.

When the Taliban arrived in Kabul, Saleh tweeted on August 15: “I will never, ever and under any circumstances bow to Taliban terrorists. I will never betray the soul and legacy, commander, legend and teacher of my hero Ahmad Shah Masoud. I will not disappoint the millions who listened to me. I will never come under one roof with the Taliban. NEVER. “

Who is Amrullah Saleh?

Born in October 1972, Saleh belongs to the Tajik ethnic group and was orphaned at a very young age.

He has long been part of the battle against the Taliban, which dates back to the 1990s, when he fought for the first time with the northern alliance of the late guerrilla fighter Ahmad Shah Massoud, who took over the Taliban when he came to power.

By AFP According to the report, Saleh’s sister was tortured to death by Taliban fighters in 1996. “My view of the Taliban changed forever because of the events of 1996,” Saleh had written in an editorial in Time magazine last year.

After the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center in New York, Saleh — which was then part of the anti-Taliban resistance — became a key asset for the Central Investigation Agency (CIA).

His relationship with the CIA helped pave the way for the leadership of the recently established Afghanistan Intelligence Service, the National Security Department, in 2004.

As head of the NDS, Saleh gathered information in which he provided evidence that the Pakistani military is supporting the Taliban.

In 2010, however, he was dramatically dismissed as Afghan spy chief after a humiliating attack on the Kabul Peace Conference.

After his resignation, Saleh continued his fight against the Taliban on Twitter, where he fired Tweets against his longtime enemy.

In December 2018, President Ashraf Ghani appointed Saleh as the new Minister of the Interior. He became the former Deputy Prime Minister.

Assassination attempts

Saleh has become a target of assassination several times. On September 9, 2020, Saleh was wounded in a bomb attack in Kabul that killed 10 people. On July 28, 2019, three militants arrived at Saleh’s office in Kabul when a suicide bomber blew himself up and killed 20 people. Although Saleh survived, he lost many colleagues and two nephews in the attack.

Inside something 60 minutes In an interview in the United States in December 2009, Saleh stated, “Sure, and if they kill me, I’ve told my family and friends not to complain about anything because I’ve killed many of them proudly, so I’m a very, very legal target, very legal because when I stand against them, the desire to oppose them is part of the blood. I think they are wrong. “

Where is Saleh now?

Although there is no official confirmation of his whereabouts, it appears that he has withdrawn from the Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan to the northeast of Kabul, which is still free from Taliban control.

On August 16, images of him appeared on social media with the son of his former mentor and the famous anti-Taliban fighter Ahmed Shah Massoud. It looks like both are forming a guerrilla movement to receive the Taliban.

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