Image: AP/ANI (representative)
In an exclusive interview with Republic TV, Afghanistan ex-Vice President Amrullah Saleh has given out a message to the global community. "Let's not bow to Taliban terror," Saleh said during the interview. Speaking to Republic's Senior Executive Editor Abhishek Kapoor, Saleh informed that the Taliban backed by the Pakistan government and the ISI has led to the "Kabul Airport fiasco" and more such incidents are yet to unfold.
Answering a question on the response of the global community to the Panjshir Resistance, Saleh expressed his views on the swift takeover of Kabul by the Taliban. "You have to separate the mass feeling from the few politicians who have made this mistake. The mass is disgusted with the wrong political decision and misjudgment," he said. He also sternly mentioned Taliban's annexation was powered by the Pakistan government and diplomatic backing. He accused Pakistan Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi of "behaving like a Taliban Minister." Additionally, he also alerted America of a major "defeat" by Pakistan.
"For as long as America is unwilling to acknowledge the role of Pakistan in dealing with Taliban, this problem is not going to be fixed," he said.
He accused the US of failing to hold Taliban to account and urged the Western States, especially to USA to stay beside the majority who see the Taliban as "barbaric and vengeful."
#WATCH | It's not too late, let's not bow to the Taliban and terrorism. They are backed by Pakistan, for as long as US does not recognise that, the problem is not going to be fixed: @AmrullahSaleh2 to Republic— Republic (@republic) August 26, 2021
Watch here - https://t.co/qpM29dbzbP pic.twitter.com/flRRag6itz
When asked about the progress of Panjshir resistance, caretaker President Saleh said that they have a "strategy" to "pursue the negotiated settlement." However, he also added, if the negotiations fail they are also "prepared for the military eventualities." Talking about the resources following the Taliban seizure of all Afghan army ammunition, Saleh said that they have captured a lot of "equipment" but have failed to curb "Afghan determination."
"We are absolutely not fighting for Panjshir, our struggle is not for one valley or one geographical location. We are the legitimate representatives of the Afgan people," Amrullah Saleh.
Talking about their "simple and clear" demand, Saleh added, "We don't want to be a part of the Taliban Emirate. We don't recognise it, or see it as legitimate."
Meanwhile, Saleh has also expressed his desire "to come to a ceasefire" until the Taliban formulates a plan to determine the head of the state. Additionally, he also refused to accept the Taliban-imposed appointments of diplomats. Saleh also clarified during his interview that his struggle is not limited to the Panjshir valley, "we are legitimate representatives of the Afghan people and constitutionally reacting President, " he said.
Saleh also mentioned he and Ahmad Massoud have a "legitimate political narrative" that has the power to spearhead through Taliban-induced "oppression, torture and exclusion." We are not ready to negotiate surrender and allegiance in the name of the settlement," he sternly added.
On August 15, the former VP declared an unrestricted fight against the cad fundamentalist group. Saleh on Tuesday took to Twitter and announced his presence in the last remaining holdout of Panjshir valley, about a three-hour drive towards the northeast of Kabul. Saleh pledged to continue defiance against the rogue militant group through a strongly worded tweet. He has remained in the country to form an anti-Taliban coalition along with Ahmad Massoud, the son of 'legend' Ahmad Shah Massoud.